The modern internet has a hierarchy, with online services acting as brokers for all of our digital interactions. While this enables many new experiences not possible without digital tools, this system results in a perpetual memory of all activities we perform, complicating our privacy and personal safety. Haunts is a different approach to our digital interactions. By using a mesh network, Haunts provides an off-grid collaborative canvas, owned by no one. Since there is no “server” to the Haunts architecture, collaborations disappear forever when everyone disperses. Data is only stored when there is consensus to remember, and Haunts can be used anywhere – the subway, the forest, the park – without any need for a connection to the internet.
The app was built on iOS and Swift, using Multipeer Connectivity to establish peer-to-peer connections using WiFi signals. Once peer connections have been established, devices will relay information between them to ensure everyone sees the collaborative drawing canvas. I’ve put the code for the project on Github as the implementation may be valuable for other scenarios, such as activism and disaster relief.