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Dowse is a smart HUB for your home network, based on free and open source software.
Dowse makes your network visible to you and opaque to the outside world. With the growing amount of 'Internet of Things' (IoT) products we have no idea what service they connect or who connects to them. The risk of unconscious abuse and exploitation of information is growing tremendously. As 'things' initiate connections on the behalf of users, we are making a major leap towards a world that provides us with contexts that we may not want at all. Therefore being aware of events taking place on the local network is very important.
Dowse is a tool anyone can install and use. By replacing the outdated proprietary ISP ‘gateway’ with an open and user-visible device, Dowse creates a new platform that leverages its topologically unique access and influence in the domain of the local-area network. It introduces a visible, malleable, knowable communications hub to the language of the small network.
Dowse makes you aware of what happens on your network. If you want you can build a simple interface to reflect events from cyberspace to your space, and make it as complex and creative as you like using standard protocols like MQTT, Websockets and OSC.
Dowse becomes the locus of a specific new class of applications which are able to perceive and affect all devices in the local sphere, whether they are open or closed. The software explorations that can appear in this domain, enabled by the Dowse platform, can bring individual awareness, preference, and empowered influence to the network/IoT as its own organ.
Dowse is free and open source software, no strings attached, meaning you can build your own boxes and extensions, re-sell and make your own business counting on your own skills and those of colleagues. We are not doing this to own all your network, to the contrary we want to empower everyone to have a choice and spread the ability to do so.
Dowse is an free and open source software project by the Dyne.org non-profit foundation, developed as a community effort involving some of the best hackers, designers and artists worldwide. The development of Dowse started in 2013 with a whitepaper written by Jaromil in cooperation with the Waag Society. It has been supported by SIDNfonds.nl and NLNET.nl and is now ready to deliver its first products.
This crowdfunding campaign will let you buy a device, run it in your shared space, be it at home, office or in a public medialab, while supporting further development.