The subway system offers some of the most unique experiences in New York City. From music being played by hobos to some, well, different fashions and ungodly smells, getting onto a train is a feast for our senses. But that experience hasn’t ever been translated onto our phones. Since there’s no cell phone connection on the subway, beyond music, smartphones are mostly useless while on a train. But on the L Train this week, a pirate WiFi intranet changed all of that - in a highly interactive way.
The creative collective WeMakeCoolSh.it created a system that will run on the L train between 8 and 10 am each day this week. Users can access it by connecting to the “L Train Notwork” on their phones while they’re on the train. After connecting, users will be able to read content by local authors and poets, as well as see works from visual artists and even enter a live chat room. "When people ride the train during rush hour, they are forced to be so close to each other, but they rarely interact with each other. We wanted to give people something to talk about,” Matthew McGregor-Mento and Mark Krawczuk, WeMakeCoolSh.it members, said to 3rdward.com earlier this week. Battery-powered webservers have been used to create the hotspots, which allow riders to connect for free. Additionally, the code the team used to create the system will be available online.
The Notwork will come to a close this week, but there will be new content available each day. This new collective system is a potential new way for people to connect with each other during one of the unavoidable routines in city life. With all of the new ways that we’re able to connect with each other online, it’s only a matter of time before we’re able to continue while we’re underground. This is a creative start.