Thursday, December 8, 2011

Inhuman Microphone app lets protesters spread the word


Occupy Wall Street protesters use a "human microphone" to get around their lack of a new York City permit for speakers or megaphones - one person speaks while the crowd repeats their message, spreading it to those further away. Now, there's an app that does the same for your iPhone.
Inhuman Microphone was developed in 24 hours at the Music Hack Day in London last weekend. The speaker simply talks into their phone and their message is uploaded to a server before being pushed out to other phones in the area that have the app's website open - watch a video of the app in action here.
The tricky part is ensuring all phones speak with one voice. "Network latencies meant that we couldn't just fire the audio off as soon as the client received it - we have to "synchronise watches" as it were, so that they all trigger off at a given moment," say the app's creators.
It is a neat idea, but while a solitary speaker probably doesn't need an amplified sound permit, a crowd of crowing iPhones will probably draw the attention of the authorities.

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