Without politics. How to permanently transform street protests using a mobile application?

    The last N thousands of years of protest meetings have not changed fundamentally.

    A crowd of protesters gathers and starts chanting something, usually with short, rhythmic phrases (the crowd is not capable of anything more). The instigator begins, the crowd picks up and away, until the inertia goes out or until the leader launches a new chanter. It turns out quite loud, but unintelligible. Casual passers-by are not even always able to understand what exactly all these people want? Well, yes, "Hitler - a thief," and more specifically?

    The 20th century gave the rally participants sound-amplifying equipment. And primitive chants began to alternate with incendiary speeches of speakers. Cool? Cool! The effect of such a collection is incomparably greater.

    But there are two problems.

    Firstly, the leader-speaker is initially vulnerable, because the power-amplifying equipment can be turned off or banned by the authorities altogether. Ori, do not ori not heard. Secondly, our speaker, when he runs out of power or when he wants to receive a backlash from the protesters, has to start a primitive chanter again, as in the good old days, that is, to make those present feel like members of a wild tribe or something.

    This afternoon I was walking around Tverskaya and saw with my own eyes how quiet and inexpressive even a very large meeting of protesters could be if they do not have sound-amplifying equipment. But the police had a megaphone, and the phrases that came from him would still be spinning in the head of anyone who came around. 1: 0 in favor of the police. Well, well, 2: 1.

    It was a preamble, and now an amboule.

    We know that:

    • Many thousands of modern citizens come to rallies and protest festivities.
    • Every citizen has a smartphone with him.
    • Smartphones are usually equipped with a rather loud external speaker . Up to 91dB!

    Now let us imagine such a picture: the protesters take smartphones out of their pockets, and from many thousands of speakers synchronously, in chorus, beautiful, intelligent slogans sound. Loud and clear. Not “Down with the Moon!”, But deployed with arguments.


    What is not less important:

    • The smartphone will not be taken away on the frame.
    • The smartphone is not considered sound amplifying equipment. And even if it will be considered, it is impossible to determine from which smartphones sound is heard.

    Now how it works

    The smartphone-chants should work autonomously at the rally , in the complete absence of the Internet. WiFi and cellular communication can and will jam. Therefore, the smartphone will have to prepare for the rally in advance at home.

    1. A special chants application is installed on the smartphone
    2. The chanter downloads sound files (slogans) from a certain site and stores them locally, in the memory of the smartphone. Also the ready schedule (playlist) for playing slogans is downloaded.
    3. The application is synchronized with NTP time servers, with an accuracy of tens of milliseconds. Without this synchronous "shout" we can not.

    Done, you can go to rally. Playback will start at that hour.


    Time synchronization is a whole field for experiments.

    But it seems that the problem is solved, because There is an AmpMe application that plays music synchronously on multiple smartphones.

    As an alternative, you can try to synchronize with an audio / video - / *** signal from a home computer that is synchronized with the NTP server.

    Synchronization should not depend on time / belt at the base station of the cellular operator.

    Synchronization, apparently, should be carried out shortly before the rally, so that time does not have time to significantly shift due to the error of hours.

    On very large areas it is expected to be an echo, "the effect of the station." Anything better than the roar of the crowd.

    What can a chant app do?

    • The sound is played strictly on a timer as an uneditable playlist, file by file.
    • Before playing any chants, a countdown and the text of the slogan are displayed on the phone screen.
    • During playback, karaoke subtitles are displayed, for live chanting.
    • The owner of the phone has the right to mute those "chants" that he does not want to play. Freedom implies a certain lack of commitment.

    Two sure ways to bury an idea

    1. Record slogans in the voice of one person. The voice of the people should sound exactly like the voice of the people, in an even chorus, xx + yy of male / female voices. Sound engineers will understand.
    2. Make an application for a single platform. Looking for at least iOS + Android.

    Interesting? And let's do it!

    The task does not look large - similar to the task for the "hackathon".

    Needless need a development team with his hands. If you are interested - write to me , join.

    If you are not registered on Habré, write me an email:
    cnUuaG9zdG1hc3RlckBnbWFpbC5jb20 =
    (wrapped in base64, from hooligans)

    Looking for:

    Someone curious enough to try to solve the problem of synchronizing audio playback within 50ms on different smartphones. This is the main challenge. AmpMe provides 10ms, but for the chants so much is not necessary.

    Someone with a sense of beauty to draw a simple and pleasant UI. I already have a mocap.

    A far-sighted and meticulous programmer who comes up with a karaoke-like file format for playback and writes a library for reading / writing format.

    The severe programmer who will collect from the above iOS or Android application.

    In my face you will find a producer / organizer. About myself: I'm a senior Ruby / RoR backend developer, (pancake).

    PS: If you are interested in digging deeper:

    PPS: lyrical digression: I respect all collective will of the law. Everyone has the right to be heard. And the less people have the opportunity to exercise this right, the more they have reasons for primitive receptions, such as going outside. In an ideal world, it would be enough to sign a petition on change.org or similar sites for broadcasting opinions.

    I look forward to your comments. And yes, please leave your opinion in the survey.

    UPDATE 1:

    After reading 90 comments, I realized that many recur in theses and I need to focus on the following:

    1. The application is designed to work only offline . Rally can not depend on the connection. In Hong Kong, put jammers and all applications do not work.
    2. Protesters are not "lazy" to scream. They scream, but they are not heard. And the slogans are unacceptably short.
    3. “They will accept the new law and ban it ...”. Hmm, I want to see how smartphones will be banned. Or how they will be obliged to put a standard "trill-trine" ringtone instead of voice.
    4. The application is politically neutral. It is for any meetings and public events, including opposition.

    By the way, from the results of the survey it is clear that the application should work, but many doubt the ability to use it. Why? (not counting the "prohibitions")

    UPDATE 2:

    Wow There is interest from the android-developers!
    iOS developer, come forward now! :)

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Sign in , please.

    Do you think the idea of ​​a chanter is viable?

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