An idea so simple that it's applications are endless. All your Digital Devices sharing and playing media in concert, synchronised to the millisecond, regardless of your location around the world.
Background for Context
First, let me state that I am absolutely and emphatically a nerd at heart, and this particular Technology appeals to both my love of Physics, my love of Music, and my perspective on how the world works on a fundamental level.
The nature of Sound, Waves and Vibrations
Sound as we perceive it is of great interest to me. My partner and myself studied classical music for many years. My partner completed her Masters in Music and Anthropology (How music affects and shapes societies). Sound is the most engulfing sense we have, reaching further into our collective subconscious minds than any other sense. It is the first sense we develop, beginning before we are born, and is the sense greatest at eliciting emotional responses.
Emotions and Thoughts, although not of the same medium as sound (energy traversing through particles), are also waves. Like light, their energy traverses the electromagnetic spectrum. To put it in simple terms, a happy person will emit electromagnetic waves in harmony. An unhappy person will emit disharmonious waves.
Harmonics, Wave Formations and Sum of All Parts
Waves in any medium follow the same laws, certain waves operating at certain frequencies will be in harmony, while others with be discordant. Waves interacting with each other over a period of time (Wave Systems) will move towards one of two ends: One will re-inforce the other resulting in increasing the energy of the wave system as a whole, or One will use its energy to weaken the other resulting in canceling it out. This is known as constructive and destructive wave formations respectively.
The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts
When one person listens to a sound designed to produce a harmonic emotional resonance, we have one wave formation. When two listen to the same sound at the same time we have a stronger wave formation. What happens when 100 people connect to such a system? or a 1,000? or 100,000?
You get the idea. The interaction of these individuals, despite possibly being on different sides of the world, when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of any individual contributor (synergism). From this we can create a stronger manifestation of these emotions.
Inception of an Idea
First, let me start by stating that the original inception of this idea was not my own. It came from my friend and cousin Elliot. On a friday night, one of our friends wanted to share a YouTube clip, he pulled out his smartphone, and we all crowded around to watch. Later, with the introduction of a Google ChromeCast to our home it became easier to share, anyone could broadcast content to the TV/Audio System as soon as they were on our WiFi network.
Although easy to use, it did not provide a way of sharing media exactly the way we wanted.
So an idea was born.
Link ‘n’ Sync
A way to link up our phones, our laptops and TVs all to a single piece of content that played without Echoing or the notorious Doppler Effect you get when two devices are out of time with each other. So we set about designing an App to do just that, allowing devices on our wifi network to play digital content in concert with each other.
Then the idea evolved, as such ideas often do:
- Could we support Playlists or Queues as well as single pieces of content?
- Could we create Open or Shared playlists where content is added by anyone in session?
- What content types and content sources could be shared?
- Could 3G or 4G mobile networks support the required bandwidth?
- Could Device GPS be used to determine sessions in the area?
- What GPS range restrictions should be used? 1km? 100km?
- Friends only or could strangers within range join?
The Session King
The creator of a Session (and playlist) is the Session King (SK for short). The SK has final control over all content and all devices in session. SK hits Pause, all devices pause. SK hits Skip all devices skip. SK hits Stop, the session ends.
What if the Session King abruptly leaves the session? Better yet, what if they wants another to control the session? Well they can simply pass on the mantle of Session King to whomever they like. This user now has all the media control capabilities of the previous Session King on all devices synced to the session.
A major feature of the platform became that of Open, Controlled and Closed Playlists - as there are applications for each of these scenarios. A Session King may want to:
- provide content for a specific purpose, with no ability for participants to add to the playlist.
- create an open playlist where anyone can add content, reshuffle, or delete content.
- have final approval over content from participants and order of playing.
The way in which content is accessed directly relates to how the technology could be branded. More on this below.
This also led to saving of playlist/content. The API allows for individuals to save content from previous sessions, unless expressly forbidden by the content provider. A part of the roadmap is to allow for direct in-session license purchasing of copyrighted material. Such an example would be a Media Producer wanting to share his or her creations, but not allowing it to be saved unless a license was purchased.
A core feature was the ability to add friends from social networks, so integration with contact lists and social networks needed. When we added the ability for strangers to join, we incorporated a registry of both Sessions in Progress and Scheduled Sessions.
This allowed Session Kings (or participants) to easily fill up a session with friends, friends of friends and strangers.
The technology has distinct ways in which it can be used and hence distinct niche markets. Listed here are the ones we have earmarked:
- Sessions with Friends - in your own home or across the country.
- Digital Radio Stations - for anyone wanting start their own channel or listen in.
- Media Producers - showcasing your products with options to purchase.
- Public Venues - Have a House Session running that visitors can connect to.
- Business Presentations - All devices in a boardroom synced to the same presentation.
- Yoga or Meditation sessions happening at the same time, in different locations.
- Global Music and Vibrational Healing sessions.
If you have anymore ideas, we’d love to hear about them.
Obstacle 1 : Syncing outside local WiFi
The first obstacle was syncing devices so content could be played within an error threshold of 1 millisecond. The difficulty is there is an inherent lag time and volatility coefficient in all network traffic, especially if it is on different networks such as 3G/4G. With a lot of testing we solved this, designing an algorithm to account for error threshold between ‘X’ devices. As more devices joined the more accurate the Sync, so basically the more people in a session, the more in sync they became. At 5 devices we had the error threshold below 1 millisecond over 2,000km.
Obstacle 2 : Content Sharing
When it came to sharing content from a single source, YouTube for example, the mechanics were easy. Everyone buffers content from the same source and plays it together. However what about content that was only on one device? How could all participants access this content? We solved this by completely redesigning how content was distributed. Using Peer 2 Peer Torrent Technologies, then adapting Torrent Protocols to use aggressive “in-session pushing” of content we were able to distribute the content to all participants 1.5 to 15 times faster than streaming from a central source. Again, the more participants, the faster the content distribution rate.
Obstacle 3 : Bandwidth
Given the new design would now be using mobile networks, could 3G/4G support the required bandwidth? Well this was entirely dependent on the richness of content as much as network signal quality. In the end we found that audio or images had no issue, within Australia and across most of Southeast Asia. Video was an issue depending on the area but there wasn’t a lot that could be done here. The workaround we found was that of a scheduled session, or had enough caching time then the content could be delivered effectively. Also, due to the aggressive pushing Torrent technology we were able to allowed for a greater mobile network coverage.
Obstacle 4 : Copyright
Youtube is the popular video content provider these days, but what about Vimeo? SoundCloud? Spotify? Groove Music? Google Music? What about an album of pictures or a PDF? What about Media Producers with copyrighted content not available yet? I must admit, that this particular obstacle is a work in progress, so stay tuned.
Conclusion : Our hope for this Platform
A Tool for Manifesting
If we take the principles and technology in this article and apply it specifically for the purpose of manifesting a brighter hope (whatever hope that might be) then I believe this technology could affect great change in steering ourselves to a greater manifestation of the hopes that we hold.
What would be accomplished if 10,000 individuals sat down in meditation at the same time, with the same music, and the same intent for a manifestation of a higher frequency for a specific hope?
Would that hope be more or less likely to be affected by such a movement of energy on our planet?
I think it would.
We ask for your help and support in this project as we try to bring this technology to the world.