The Chaos Messaging System for mobile devices
When I first heard about Bluetooth in 2000 I thought about thousand and one different cool applications that I could write.
The coolest thing was a application for sending email like messages thru a Ad-Hoc like network where all nodes a continuously
moving. Recently one of my coworkers brought up this kind of idea so I remembered all my old thoughts about this idea.
The basic idea behind the system is that everybody carries a small network node like a PDA or a cellphone and nearly
everybody likes sending emails or SMSs to his friends - for free.
The main goal is having a mobile messaging system that allows free (no charge) secure short message communication.
How it should work:
Imaging this: you walk thru the campus of your university, company or thru the halls of a trade fair and you can
send short messages to your friends or coworkers without having to pay a dime, wouldn't that be great?
All participants install the program on their device. While sending a message it will be
pgp encrypted (totally). Then the program will start looking for other network nodes (e.g. scanning for other bluetooth devices)
and as soon as a other Chaos node is found the message will be handed over to this node. The receiving node will try to
decrypt the message, if it can decrypt the message it is the true receiver, if not it relays the message to other nodes, for a
specific time - after that the message is deleted.
There is no actual network - so no old style routing between nodes is required. The routing is done chaotic and
unorganized thru the carriers of the devices (nodes) as they move around. Based on the theory that every person knows
every other person thru maximum of seven links.
The main problem is that a rather large number of participants are needed before the Chaos system starts working.
This problem is irrelevant in a test environment or at some kind of conference or at university where the
density of potential nodes is higher then in the real world. Part of this problem could be solved using fixed
Other problems like storage space and period for the messages or the prevention of duplicate transfer of messages between
two nodes are more technical and should be solved quit easily.
The Chaos system could be implemented quit easy on most of current available PDAs and cellphones using the OBEX
protocol (which is implemented on nearly every PDA or cellphone).
This figure shows 3 node clouds with 2 nodes moving between the clouds. Inside each cloud the messages are swapped
and as soon as a node moves away and becomes part of a other cloud the messages are injected into the new cloud and
(c) Collin R. Mulliner, updated: Mon Dec 1 14:33:56 CET 2003
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