The Exorbidant Number of WiFi Networks
While taking a stroll in the streets of Lugano, I happened to look at the number of WiFi networks while waiting for a traffic signal to turn green to cross. The number of the networks that my phone was able to detect was at least more than 20 at every point that I checked. Some of the networks discovered can be seen in the screenshot below.
The crazy thing about the world we live in is that if there is a disaster, a man-made one or a natural one, that breaks certain backbone internet infrastructure and/or servers of certain internet giants, most people would not be able to communicate with people within their locality through their devices. You never know when some countries decide to shut down the internet, nor you would know when the next earthquake would come destroying critical infrastructure.
The possibility of communicating with people in a locality just by using these WiFi modems is quite evident. However, measures must be taken to ensure that everyone agrees to use a particular software or protocol for communication in such a manner. Perhaps all of these modems should be equipped to have a functionality that enables the creation of one giant local network through which everyone can connect in such scenarios.
Indeed, currently HexHoot can work in a local network. But getting consensus to onboard everyone to download it and have such a measure to ensure creation of a large network would require a lot of awareness and cooperation.