Holomap & Holoweb : Holographic Web

by Chris Larcombe in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th May 2020 we successfully raised £3,551 with 50 supporters in 28 days

Holographic mapping and messaging, and research and development for a new kind of web, inspired by nature.

by Chris Larcombe in Bristol, England, United Kingdom


Chris Larcombe

Hi there!

My name is Chris, and I'm passionate about the evolution of culture and technology, and how we can create significant positive change on a global scale through innovation.

With the power of 'holonic technology' applied to the web, I believe we can expand our knowledge of the world, and radically upgrade our ability to communicate and collaborate online.

B I O

6 years in academia: Computer Science BSc, Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems MSc, Cognitive Robotics (2 yrs PhD).

8 years 'in Earth': activist, change-agent, whole-systems strategist, solutionary.

Presently aged 33. I have lived an experimental nomadic lifestyle for the last 5 years, spanning 9 different countries.

P O R T F O L I O

Since 2011, I’ve focused on developing technologies that fundamentally change how we experience, understand and engage with information. [ see more ]

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The Current Web

The current web has major problems and limitations that most people are unaware of. It's time for an upgrade!


Here is short a summary of some of the limitations:

⚠️ 2D Rectangular Interfaces

Almost everything is 2D, rectangular, and linear. This makes it uncomfortable and slow to navigate, and often results in "endless linear scrolling".

⚠️ 2D Data

Information is stored in large blocks of text and tables, which makes it slow and difficult to find and absorb information. The web has been modelled after books and documents, which are artificial - whereas origin of information is biological, natural, it comes from us!

⚠️ Limited Privacy and Data Ownership

We exchange our valuable data for apparently "free" services, where our personal data is then sold to unknown 3rd parties. This is business as usual for Facebook, Google, and most other popular online platforms. Our private data is stored unencrypted on giant servers owned by companies, which makes this possible.

For this model to work, companies must also restrict access to our data (to maintain their competitive advantage).

⚠️ Limited Perception

Because our raw data is not directly accessible and access to our data is significantly limited by companies, we cannot then determine how our data is displayed and used. This drastically limits our perception and ultimately has a significant impact on our world view - which is difficult to realise since we have nothing to compare the current web to (such as another web designed differently, without this limitation).

Currently, companies determine how much of our data we can access and how it's displayed and used, in order to further their own agendas. This is the current norm, and results in secondary issues such as political censorship, targeted propaganda and "filter bubbles".

But most importantly, in my opinion, it limits our perception. I cannot emphasise this enough, and how important and relevant this is right now, in the context of the current global crisis. Remember, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

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Holomap

[ click here to open the example Holomap for this project ]

Holomap is an real-time communication platform that moves beyond the flat 2D Interfaces and 2D Data of the current web. All information is stored as "holons", which are like holograms of information.

On the Spring Equinox of 2020, Holomap was published on an open-source licence, for immediate use in the global crisis. 

Since this version of Holomap is an app designed for the current web, it therefore inherits the other limitations of the web. For example, as usual personal data is stored on a server, and its interface (how you see and interact with the data) loads inside a fixed "web page" which cannot be changed.

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Holoweb

Holoweb is an abbreviation of "holonic web", and is a design that moves beyond Holomap, by directly addressing all four of the limitations of the current web provided above, and several others.


I am now raising funds and asking for support to build a fully open-source prototype, that will also include a version of Holomap and a private messenger called Hologram - these are the first two "holapps" (holographic applications), that will run on the Holoweb.

The funding will support the development of two open-source Android apps: Holon (a "holoweb browser app") and Holocore ("a secure storage and communication app"). The two apps together enable access to the Holoweb.

In the Holoweb people store data securely on their own devices (in 'holocores'), which provides the added bonus of all data being accessible offline, without an internet connection. Holocores are secured and unlocked with a Holokey (see next section below).

The funding will also enable the deployment of a test server (running a "holoweb connector"), as part of a scalable test network (which I'm calling 'SG1'). Unlike the current web, this server (and network) will not store or proxy any data; it is only used to broker connections, providing direct secure peer-to-peer connections between people using the Holoweb.

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Rewards

I'm offering early access (limited initially to ~1500 people) to the Holoweb prototype and test network that the funding will enable.


Access is provided in the form of "Holoweb Access Packs" for individuals and groups (of 2 people, 4 people and 6 people).

The minimum investment/donation for 1 person is 10 pounds (to cover all costs), so the rewards have been calculated based on this and the limitations of the crowd-funder platform. Each person covered by a pack will receive:

  • A physical holographic Holokey with optional QR code (recommended)
  • Access key for "holoweb connector" server (part of SG1 test network)
  • Welcome letter and instructions

If you want to use the Holoweb prototype with others, they will also need access to the Holoweb: either by obtaining their own access-pack through the 'Holoweb Access (Individual)' reward, or through a 'Holoweb Group Access' reward, provided by you or someone else.

I have structured the rewards in this way because the Holoweb is much more useful and fun with others!

All packs include access to a "holoweb connector" (the test server mentioned above), and a public community Holomap (on the current web), where you will be able to meet others who participate in the crowd-funding - you will then be able to contact them on the Holoweb, once it's operational. 

The Holoweb prototype and test network includes Holomap (holonic mapping) and Hologram (holographic/holonic messenger) - with the added benefits of privacy, sovereignty of ID, data and perception (you own your ID, your data and your perception) that come with this new foundation.

Since everything will be made open-source, the Holon and Holocore apps will be available for download for free on Google Play and the Holoweb website (as a signed APK file).

Finally, I'm also providing physical holographic "holokeys" in the post, which is a pleasant way to store your QR code, used to secure and access your Holocore.

Holokey

Holokey, with QR code
Your holokey includes a QR code, which is an alternative to (or supplementary with) a typed password. It's like an ultra high quality password, which is immune to "brute force" attacks. It also saves time typing in a password.

This means that if your phone is lost or stolen, your data cannot be recovered without the key, even if the phone is "rooted" by a hacker (this is not the case for apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal and E-mail applications - which are a liability).

For anyone who wishes to generate and print their own QR code, i'm providing instructions and code for you to do this yourself. If you choose this option, a holographic card will be posted to you without a QR code, and with a self-adhesive you can use to attach a QR code that you print yourself.

For those choosing to receive their Holokey with a QR code affixed (a more convenient option), you will also receive 2 additional keys (copies), which you can keep in safe locations.

It is really important not to lose your key(s), otherwise you lose your data! There is no way to recover your data if you lose all copies of your key (QR code). This is intrinsic to the paradigm of owning and taking responsibility for our own data.

Once enough users are on the holoweb, it will be possible to provide optional peer-based key-backup services.

If a key is compromised or lost, it is only a problem if someone with the key also gains physical access to your phone (unlikely). This is why there will be an optional "2-Factor Authentication" method for the paranoid, or high-security users (where you need both the QR code and a typed password).

For more information on any of this or for any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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Community

Everything is being published on an open-source AGPLv3 licence on Github, which will enable an emergent open-source community to form around the designs and software. It means that what I contribute can be re-used very easily in other open-source projects, and GPL-based software.

A public community Holomap (running on the current web) will also be available for those participating in the crowd-fund. Participants will gain editor access and be able to contribute to the map. The holomap will be hosted on the "holomap.earth" super-map. This will enable people to connect in real-time and see what's happening "in the now".

Acknowledgements

Finally, I want to acknowledge those working on similar and related projects out there. In particular Holochain (see comparison table) and Scuttlebut, which have provided me with great inspiration and are related to this project.

I see my work as being completely complimentary to these existing projects, and I will be making videos shortly, which explain how what i'm building relates to these projects: the similarities, differences and points of potential integration. 

Special thanks to Planet Boelex and  Carbon Based Lifeforms for their amazing music featured in the crowd-funding video. Please check out their music. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me on my journey.

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Updates


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Questions?

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

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Visit my website: LARCOMBE.io

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

12 of 500 claimed

Holoweb Access (Individual)

Holoweb access-pack: 1] Network access token, 2] First edition holographic plastic Holokey (sealed), 3] Holon and Holocore (Android apps), 4] Holomap and Hologram (holapps), 5] Editor access to a community Holomap on holomap.earth (on current web).

£20 or more

10 of 250 claimed

Holoweb Group Access (2 people)

2 Holoweb access-packs (Holoweb Access (Individual) x 2).

£40 or more

7 of 50 claimed

Holoweb Group Access (4 people)

4 Holoweb access-packs (Holoweb Access (Individual) x 4).

£60 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Holoweb Group Access (6 people)

6 Holoweb access-packs (Holoweb Access (Individual) x 6).

£250 or more

1 of 12 claimed

Holoweb Accelerator

Holoweb Access (Individual) + Optional: Special Mention on Holoweb websites (as 1 of 12 accelerator investors!), your own custom Holomap on the holomap.earth super-map (hosted on the current web). ** this reward is suitable for an individual or an organisation.

£1,000 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Holoweb Super-Accelerator

Holoweb Access (Individual) + Optional: Special Mention on Holoweb websites (as 1 of 5 super-accelerator investors!), your own custom Holomap on the holomap.earth super-map (hosted on the current web). ** this reward is suitable for individual or an organisation.

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