E-Paper Bulletin Board
EBB (e-paper bulletin board) is an internet-connected bulletin board. Like a bulletin board one might see outside a cooperative grocery store, EBB is a micro version for the home. It allows a close network of friends to communicate over the internet without the distraction or glowing LCD of a computer or smartphone. Instead of advertising and begging to maximize your attention, EBB avails ambient information at a glance, slowly and silently cycling through images on it's paper-like screen.
It is designed to be hung on the wall of a communal space like a kitchen. The ideal group to use this device with eachother is a small network of cooperatives or friend group. The first EBB test-network is within houses of the Burlington Federation of Cooperative Houses (Coop Fed).
To send a message: press a button and a picture is taken. To communicate a message with text write the message on paper and take a picture of that paper. Over the next several hours the other EBBs will automatically receive the image and display it.
Synchronization happens via Scuttlebutt. Scuttlebutt is an encrypted, resilient protocol for communicating which doesn't require any corporate intermediaries.
The device costs around $75 to build from off-the-shelf parts. The code is open source and build instructions are in the code repository. The code is currently in early alpha. Future features include a button to display the weather.
I recognize that a new way to share photos online is the absolute last thing the world needs and on some level I’m ashamed that I made another, lol. But on the other hand I think there is a need for more gentle technology such as this.