Thrifty WiFi is a networking experiment that examines the physical layer of computer networks and its role in social behavior and networks. The homemade router informs connected users about the growing problem of electronic waste and acts as an internet gatekeeper that allows older devices to access the internet but does not grant internet access to newer devices. This dynamic responds to the policy of planned obsolescence and built-in obsolescence where people are encouraged to purchase new devices in order to maintain their connectability.
This project touches on the role of technologists and the diy role that they can have in regards to intervention and combatting corporate behavior. By denying access to certain groups, thrifty wifi encourages education about e-waste that asks users to consider their electronic consumption.
Using a Raspberry Pi as a rogue wifi hotspot, (connect with
pw: thriftyisgood), network joiners will be presented with a splash page with information about e-waste. The RasPi performs an age lookup on MAC addresses of devices that are connected to the network and if it is considered a new device then the devices is not permitted to access the internet.