Probably not an original thought, but I’m just thinking about how Apple originally wanted nothing to do with cell carriers and for the iPhone to use WiFi instead, and how 15 years later we have Apple’s “Find My” network

It would be neat if e.g. iMessage (starting with text-only messages) worked peer-to-peer via this decentralized mesh network, only using carrier/ISP networks as a fallback

And it’d be even better, of course, if such a mesh network was as broadly-deployed and yet operated by a community of individuals/volunteers, on hardware of their choosing (e.g. cheap single-board computers instead of Apple iDevices)

It reminds me of the zero-trust mesh networks that are described in science fiction like Cory Doctorow’s “Walkaway”

    52 years ago

    as I understand it “Find My” isn’t a mesh network at all. It’s just that the smaller devices report to devices that are connected to the internet. Never more than one hop.

  • Arthur Besse
    32 years ago

    i don’t think apple’s “Find My” network is a mesh per se as all of sensing devices (iPhones) connect over the internet to Apple. they don’t repeat others’ messages between eachother, they just emit their own beacons and while relaying everything they hear to apple (along with the finding device’s location, encrypted to the beacon pubkey).

    If you want to play with it checkout which apparently lets anyone send beacons into the system without Apple hardware. I don’t think you can communicate arbitrary data over it, though, as the airtag-like device just broadcasts public keys. The encrypted location that is sent to apple is actually from the finding device. Also, you need a Mac to retrieve data from the system; presumably they rate limit fetches based on some dystopic trusted computing that macs all have now.