In a recent blog post, the Open Technology Institute reports on their test deployment of the Commotion wireless networking tool at last year's Allied Media Conference. Commotion is an open-source communication tool that uses mobile phones, computers, and other wireless devices to create decentralized mesh networks.
From the OTI blog...
Since 1999, the Allied Media Conference (AMC) has gathered an array of community organizers, activists, technologists, artists, educators, policy wonks and others to collaboratively design and explore media-based strategies for transformative social movements. The 2012 conference provided an opportunity to test Commotion in an indoor conference setting with hundreds of simultaneous users.
Participants in the AMC use Internet access to enhance their experience while at the conference. In each session, they take notes collaboratively via a cloud-based service. Participants comment on the workshops on the AMC website and via social media, generating over 6000 Tweets.
Seeking to expand the connective and interactive potential of the conference, the Open Technology Institute worked with conference organizers from Allied Media Projects to install a wireless mesh network providing conference attendees with improved Internet access and a suite of collaborative local applications and resources. The mesh network, MagicNet, successfully provided network access and interactive tools to hundreds of attendees over four days throughout the conference facilities.