The Moseycode Concept

mosey intr. v. To move in a leisurely, relaxed way.
code n. A set of rules for converting information into another form.

A single short essay that I anticipated will tell you nothing you want to know about Moseycode. It will however explain how Moseycode was bought to you by:

Rod StewartRubber DucksWii Sports


Physical objects have a 'sticky' quality that they derive simply from being; they simply stick around. Humans, I think, find comfort in permanence, perhaps because we naturally fear its opposite. I was thinking about this as I sat in a doctor's waiting room in mid-November.

There I picked up a copy of HELLO! a British publication that claims to be "The place for celebrity news"; I don't have a TV and I was disinterestedly attempting to stay in-touch with the popular. Penny Lancaster had had a son by Rod Stewart, again – you see I had read this same magazine before, almost two years ago in the same room. At that time I wasn't father, but now I was and suprised too to find myself genuinely interested in Rod Stewart's comments on fatherhood. Naturally, old things can have new meanings in new contexts, but what Rod Stewart really taught me was that "Sticky" discussion threads are a weak imitation of the real thing; magazines in GP's surgeries are profoundly permanent.

Four years ago I heard about a cargo ship container that, eleven years earlier, had disgorged its contents – 29,000 imperishable plastic ducks – into the North Pacific. Scientists have since used sightings of the small gaudy floats to better understand ocean currents. A tour de force of persistence certainly, but that isn't what captured my imagination.

Location is an intriguing attribute since it is neither an intrinsic nor extrinsic property of any thing. These ducks, which had nothing to them but yellow plastic and their bouyancy, had so much of this one thing: location, that due to their number, useful information could be extracted from them. Indeed, it occurred to me then that I would quite like my own jetsom; its origin I can declare; its subsequent location I can serendipitously discover; its journey I can infer and invent. It might be informative too.

More recently, I bought the latest Nintendo games console and Wii Sports was the first game I played. Its combination of finger-tapping and arm-waving felt novel, even though I knew there was nothing really new in the technology. It reinforced my conviction that, irrespective of how powerful desktop computers become, there are intrinsic limits to the spatio-kinetic enjoyment you can extract from them with a keybord and mouse.


All of these latent influences fused on the day I browsed the Android package list. It gave me an easily accessible platform that offered me something of everything I wanted. I decided to build a system that was both physical and digital, one in which the artifacts are part atoms and part bits. I decided on a dichotomy of portals which are physical doorways into chambers, virtual repositories created by others.

The portals are barcodes that can have all those sticky qualities: print them onto parcels, stick them on walls, leave them in waiting rooms. More than that, the process of viewing them is intended to be primarily physical. They are things you can pick up and manipulate; they aren't limited to merely redirecting you to some webpage.

The chambers are manifests that anyone can create: use them to bundle pictures, sound, video and data. All of which sits waiting to be released when someone opens an associated portal. Chambers have that mutable impermanent quality that digital content has, they can be endlessly added to and modified.

A central authority publishes the associations between of portals and chambers. The location services provided by modern devices make it possible to track where each portal is activated and to compile the information: find out where and when portals where opened.


I simply think this could be fun (and even useful) so I'm going to implement it.