Goals of project:

  • Preserve open communication
  • Shift control to open source
  • Protect user privacy and control of data
  • Combat tech addiction
  • Empower users

Hardware design elements:

  • Desktop design. Not meant for portability, would require intention to interact with.
  • E-ink, text only display of the smallest useable size (7.5”?): Minimize visually stimulating (and therefore addictive) elements while preserving the ability to communicate in long form, meaningful ways. Essentially, anti-meming.
  • Hardware app switching: Loading different software would require operation of a hardware switch, leading to less of an ability to flip back and forth, lessening distraction
  • Hardware scrolling toggle: Limiting input to only a natural reading scroll to increase focus
  • Raspberry Pi (or similar) with wifi connectivity: Provides only the computational power needed, no bells and whistles. The device is never intended to be cutting edge or to do tricks. Ideally, the actual computer processor would be visible or perhaps featured in the design to draw focus to the fact that it is simply a computing tool.
  • Built in keyboard: A call back to old Minitel designs, to assist with the user accepting the display as part of a communication device rather than a source of entertainment, like television

Software design elements:

  • All user data stored locally, with a small drive (SD?) for offline storage of data
  • Device would act as its own server for application data, including email and chat
  • Complete elimination of instantaneous communication (omitting voice), as an attempt to curb the addictive behaviors associated with nonstop notifications, as well as to allow uninhibited focus. Voice could even be done as Walkie Talkie style push to talk.
  • The user would have, if they wish, a homepage that can give a description of their choosing. Could include interests, links to created works, and contacts associated with the communication applications.
  • Included applications
    • An email like, long form direct messaging application that fetches messages sporadically
    • A short form messaging application that fetches more rapidly, but still with delay
    • A forum based bulletin board like system for communicating openly
    • A text editing software for word processing, with basic correction tools
    • A search tool for both individual users and shared interest groups
    • A simple programming interface with multi language support (think BASIC)
    • Dictionary and Encyclopedia services
    • Combined RSS feed/reader
    • A voice communication line