awarenet: Social Media for Mesh Networks

Some technical background about awarenet

The awarenet technology is PHP, MySQL and Kapenta based. We use it extensively on Ubuntu Linux. It has been tested on Android 2+, FreeBSD, Windows, Mac OS X and with many clients (browsers) including older Internet Explorer versions. Each server in the awarenet network presents a different view on the same social network, with learning content and user created content. With time, the servers synchronise their content via the Internet, via mobile servers, USB data drives or mobile phones that support HTML5 (iOS, Android, Windows RT).

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awarenet is currently used in classes teaching basic computer literacy or social media (with no or expensive Internet connections). It is also used to create course curriculum for teachers at an agricultural college, with little or no materials.

Technology innovations in the product include:

  • Safe environment for kids to use and learn about Internet technology.
  • Prioritised synchronisation of data suited to South African bandwidth costs and restrictions, with 8 levels of priority, to ensure that users see the data they want and need to see first.
  • Supports real-time chat in low bandwidth classrooms.
  • Hybrid, extensible P2P architecture allowing wide deployment.
  • Auto-configuration of mobile servers, to create instant learning environments in serverless labs.
  • Leverages extra mileage from infrastructure in classrooms using OLPC and tablet based classrooms (e.g. the CSIR’s tablet based schools).

We are very excited about the current innovation level that is being achieved in and around this open source project, and are looking for developers, who want to use cutting edge tools that will help people in poor rural African contexts! Ask about our project “wheelbarrow”.

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