One of the most powerful elements of Jabberwocky is that it is not
driven by the bits of an online network, but by actual real-life daily
ebb and flow within our actual urban landscapes – by the movement and
interaction (or non-interaction) of others who’s path we encounter.
Therefore, the number of “participants” is not simply the size of some
database on a central server but a more powerful, grass roots, and
personal membership in urban life. To be specific, every Bluetooth
mobile phone user is within the Jabberwocky “community”.
The application works in two
primary forms. Users of the Jabberwocky application are able to
visualize current and historical Familiar Strangers and places using
collections of Bluetooth addresses. Importantly, other users do not
need to be using the application The tool is entirely capable of
detecting other Bluetooth mobile phone users even those not using the
The actual installation and use
of the Jabberwocky application is very straightforward. Users with
MIPD2.0 (Mobile Information Device Profile) enabled mobile phones can
download and install the freely available Jabberwocky application. The
important point is that many new mobile phones being released by Nokia,
Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, and others support this device profile. The
application is free and open for use by everyone.
The application has been used on
numerous city streets, cafes, airports, train stations, subways,
freeways, parks, and other urban spaces – each time collecting and
building the social fabric of our Familiar Strangers.
The Jabberwocky project
predates, but is clearly related to the phenomena of Toothing (using
Bluetooth mobile phones to flirt and arrange for sexual encounters) and
Bluejacking (sending anonymous messages to nearby individuals).