OccupyWallStreet gets an inhuman microphone

A team of mobile devs has coded an “Inhuman Microphone” for supporters of the rapidly growing OccupyWallStreet (OWS) movement.

The smartphone app could go a long way in helping to supplement the current “Human Microphone” system, with one person shouting a message and everyone else repeating it.

The Inhuman Microphone from Tom Hannen on Vimeo.

“Our [app] circumvents the ‘no megaphones’ rule [at demonstrations],” said mobile developer and OWS supporter Tom Hannen.

“The protester shouts a message into their phone. It gets uploaded to a server. Then it gets sent to the other phones nearby. The phones are synchronized, and then they are all triggered to play the message back at the same time.”

According to Hannen, the team created a simple iPhone app using Phonegap to record and upload the audio.

“The playback of the audio happens in a simple web-page. You can use a Google Chrome on a laptop, or an iOS device (we didn’t have an Android device for testing),” he explained.

“One issue was trying to get the audio in sync; network latencies meant that we couldn’t just fire the audio off as soon as the client received it – we have to ‘synchronize watches’ as it were, so that they all trigger off at a given moment. This was achieved using Node, Socket.io, and some hack day time-sync-javascript-magic.”