If you enjoy pushing the limits of the open web platform, we want you to join us September 14-16 in The Gig City (Chattanooga, Tennessee) for a weekend of good food, good friends, and—most importantly—a unique opportunity to play on a citywide, 1 gigabit per second network.
What happens when you hack with WebGL, WebRTC, Websockets and video—the coolest, newest open web technologies—on a network 200 times faster than the typical residential internet connection? What kinds of apps become possible?
If you’re already sold, head on over and apply. We’re awarding a number of grants for you to hang and hack in the American south. Your flight, meals, and accommodation will be paid for. And you’ll leave having made something cool—something only possible on a gigabit network.
Just take 5 minutes to fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you by August 21st.
If you need some convincing, read on.
No more constraints
If you’ve ever written software for mobile or web, you know all about constraints.
Sometimes those constraints are plain as day. You can’t do heavy computation on a mobile device, because they’re relatively slow and you’ll quickly drain the battery. Apps written for mobile should be lean.
Sometimes the constraints are more implicit. They’re just baked into your understanding of how development works.
In a web app, you have a client and server. The connectivity between client and server is scarce, so you want to minimize the data traveling across the network. You don’t want your users sitting around waiting for an app to load, or for a video to buffer. Apps written for web should be frugal with data transfer.
But if all of your users are on fast networks—think 100Mbps to 1Gbps—these sorts of constraints start to matter less.
On a superfast network, it doesn’t really matter where the data lives in the network. It can travel so fast that it’s virtually instantaneous. It can travel faster than your computer can write the data to your hard drive.
On a superfast network, it also doesn’t matter where the computation happens. It’s already the case with cloud computing that the very computation-heavy tasks and storage take place remotely. Your computer is just a thin client to the network. Think about what that would mean on a gigabit network—your entire operating system, identity and filesystem could be rapidly accessed from anywhere on the network.
Real-time crunching of very heavy data could happen anywhere on the network. Anything, really—could happen anywhere, on the network.
Hacking for public benefit
OK, so what? New paradigms are fun to think about, but none of this matters until it has an impact on real people.
That’s what US Ignite is all about—showing what kinds of apps are only possible on gigabit networks. Demonstrating that if the U.S. becomes more competitive in broadband & networks, people will be happier, healthier and more well informed.
On the ideas front, we have a massive brainstorm underway around the question of “what’s possible with gigabit networks.”
How it will work
We have room for 80 participants. This is not a spectator sport—everyone who attends must contribute to coding, designing, and testing real prototype applications.
Between now and the event, we’ll work together to form teams around specific app ideas. We’ll try to pick app ideas on which we can make substantial progress over the course of the weekend. If you want to work on a specific type of problem, or a specific technology, let us know.
We’ll prepare your team as much as possible, rounding up resources, shoring up expertise, and connecting you with local institutions as appropriate.
When you arrive, you’ll meet the whole Hackanooga class of 2012; eat, drink and be merry. Then, we’ll get out of your way so you can make.
You’ll have access to wired, 1Gbps connectivity, local cloud infrastructure, and lots of coffee. We’ll show off all the results at the end.
Work from this weekend can evolve to become submissions in the Mozilla Ignite apps challenge, with nearly $500k in awards for your prototype apps. It’s a great way to meet team members & partner institutions to get a head start on the challenge.
Not only is Chattanooga an awesome place to visit, but you’ll be charting a far-out future for the web, pushing today’s technologies on tomorrow’s networks.
If you have any questions, shoot us an email at ignite AT mozillafoundation DOT org, and make sure to follow @mozillaignite for the latest news.