Audience participation is one effective way to engage the audience in the contexts of music performance, presentation, and interactive classroom experience. This work introduces a way to distribute mobile applications using mobile ad-hoc network - weakly connected over WiFiDirect with Service Discovery in the context of audience participation. The goal is to minimize user configuration so that the process is extremely accessible for casual smartphone users.

Once the app is launched, the process of data transfer begins as stated above. When a participant launches the client application, the application tries to discover a service within the range of WiFiDirect covers (with ranges up to 200 meters). Once the server finds a service, it picks one of the devices that broadcasts a service and make connection automatically.

However, because WiFiDirect is not designed to support multiple devices, it is hard to initiate connection to large group of peers, the client application will distribute the code as well once it retrieves the code successfully. The number of devices that can distribute data then grows exponentially. The figure below shows the example of the whole process in four iterations when there are 15 devices from the audience and one device that runs the server application. The time it takes to distribute to whole group will be O(log2N). For example if there are 1000 participants and if it takes 5 seconds to transmit to one peer, it will take log21000(≈10) times 50 seconds (less than 1 minute)

It requires no configuration other than downloading the client application from app store, launching the application and pressing a button to accept the incoming connection. In addition it requires NO intermediate access point such as network writer since WiFiDirect is direct communication between devices (e.g. This should work where there is no 3G/Wifi network is available.)

The prototype app was developed in Android phones. The following video shows two iteration (1 + 2) of distributing mobile music app.


  • Distributing Mobile Music Applications for Audience Participation Using Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET) (paper).
    Sang Won Lee, Georg Essl, Z. Morley Mao.
    In Proceedings of the New Instruments for Musical Expression (NIME) 2014, London, United Kingdom