Dekunle Somade, one of my many bright classmates and friends at ITP, came to me about an idea of his utilizing SMS messages to create a bulletin board for ITP students and others to communicate instantaneously, without the latency of email and unhindered by the email checking habits of the users of the bulletin board. Instead this was a public announcement system for all of ITP.
His idea has a lot of analogues and a lot of people are playing in the field, SMS is one of the few nearly universally adopted technologies in the world. Where smartphones have limitations, SMS messaging doesn’t. A lot of companies are using SMS to connect with customers and allow for experiential advertising. Dekunle’s idea wasn’t really new, but it was a place to start experimenting with a technology that permeates our world.
Where we thought we can provide something new was in the interface and the visualization. So we grouped together and worked on creating a php script backend that fed JSON to a Processing sketch that would visualize the messages.