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Picture the scene. The end of football season is fast approaching. As the matches enter injury time, fans in stadia across the country look down nervously at their smartphones, eager to find out how their rivals are performing and if their club has secured promotion or even avoided relegation. That is if they can get a data connection.
Mobile connectivity is notoriously poor in football stadia due to their construction and the high density of users. Yet, football fans increasingly expect the same level of connectivity and access to services that they experience elsewhere. Stephen Naicken's proposed solution – sharing content and data connections betweens fans’ smartphones using a delay tolerant network (DTN) implemented on Android smartphones with WiFi-Direct.
In association with Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, they designed and deployed an Android application to allow users’ smartphones to form networks that are used to share and request content, such as live scores and Twitter. Users without mobile network connectivity were able to continue using services via the DTN, whilst those with an Internet connection were able to download and share content with others.
The primary focus of this Droidcon London talk is on the design and implementation of the DTN, the many technical issues that were overcome (particularly with Wifi-Direct and device dependent issues), and the practical issues of deploying a WiFi-Direct based application in the real world.
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Stephen Naicken is a Research Fellow in the Foundation of Software Systems group at Sussex University.