So you want to have a rally. You want to hold a sports competition for your large neighborhood. Maybe you want to broadcast announcements across your company picnic. Maybe you want to throw an impromptu dance party!
The common line between all of these scenarios is this: you need a sound system, but you do not have one.
I first conceived of this while thinking about the specific issue of a dance party. Here's my solution:
- Everyone downloads this free app.
- Everyone directs the app to the streaming media source of choice - a web radio station or something.
- Each phone in the network listens to the audio it hears, and synchronizes what it's playing to the surroundings.
I liked this idea because I have friends I like dancing with, but we rarely have a sound system set up and in place for dancing in public spaces. But anywhere you need to communicate something to a large number of people but you don't have a sound system, this app would be useful.
Let's talk about issues.
How do you sync up a bunch of audio sources together on the fly, with limited communication between them?
That's the biggest problem, but there are smaller issues - well, they're really just the obstacles we'd need to face:
- How do we make this accept a wide variety of stream types - web radio, youtube, soundcloud, etc.?
- How do you do ad hoc networking between mobile devices?
- How do we tie this in with youtube playlists, which people will frequently want to play music from?
- Is this even possible, when considering the speed-of-sound delay? How far apart can sources be, such that they're perceived as one sound rather than two?