I was listening to a IT Conversations a while ago and some guy talked about services at the access point which made me think but I was doing the washing up so kinda of forgot about it. Then I saw Project placesite via http://www.cheesebikini.com. I honestly I couldnt find the IT conversations talk I was listening to but if I do I will update this entry. I'm also sure slashdot had a thread about this a while ago which I will need to find also.
It makes so much sense to do this, at the moment when you connect to a public access point you get some crap half baked tabled driven page from the company which runs it. The best one I have used is the Sony wireless network node in the Sony Centre in Potaplatz, Berlin. That node provide you with information about the area, how to book a viewing for the consumer flats and general Sony stuff. I guess the question is if people will actually stick around on such a screen if theres bandwidth? I certainly dont but then again I've not come across a access point sporting a range of services like the ones suggested by Placesite.
The ability to see who else is using the access point is a great idea, and leads on to great uses of mDNS. I mean iTunes with rendezvous at a open access point is fantastic when your after something a little different from the Starbucks lounge music. But going deeper into community and mesh networks, you could offer so many services at the access point. From Webdav for temp storing of digital camera pictures to radio streaming using icecast or something else. So to the question asked by placesite
can we use these technologies to strengthen local community? I would say yes you can with carefully picked services and applications picked for there location and people connected. Placesite is a good step forward, and honestly I would actually fill in quite a bit of the optional information if asked on a open access point. I look forward to placesite in the UK soon…