Pocket Portal Power Play: Crafting Wi-Fi Access Points with a Twist

Animation of a WEMOS D1 Mini pro sending a signal to a cellphone help by a floating hand

In this hands-on workshop, you'll turn a WEMOS D1 Mini board into a portable access point that can broadcast custom web pages to nearby devices (without actually connecting to WI-FI 😉). Join us as we explore the potential of captive portals for unique and unconventional site-specific interventions.


Saturday, May 4th, 2024
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2875 Rue Hochelaga,
Tiohtià:ke / Montréal, QC
H2K 1K7 Canada
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You know that moment when you run out of data and are in desperate search of free public Wi-Fi? You scroll through the list of funny-sounding access points and finally find a fateful network that redirects you to their sign-in portal filled with ads, a form, or info on local offerings. Well, what if you could create your own access point and web page?

In this workshop (adapted from Iffy Books' public domain zine "Spread ideas with a pocket Wi-Fi portal"), you'll learn how to create a custom Wi-Fi access point and web server using the WEMOS D1 Mini board. The access point will appear as public Wi-Fi to surrounding devices, and when someone connects to the network, they'll see a local web page you created.

We'll also discuss ways the pocket portal can be leveraged in unique ways for site-specific, ephemeral interventions and activism.

Please note that only attendees of the Open Hardware Summit can attend this workshop. Tickets for the summit are available on Eventbrite.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does this cost?

The pricing for this workshop is set to Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC). 🤑 If you'd like me to bring equipment for you to take home, an optional Materials Kit Add-on is also available for purchase to cover the cost of materials.

I'm volunteering to offer this workshop at the Open Hardware Summit (hosted by the Open Source Hardware Association non-profit charity), so any additional amount is appreciated. You can also support the work in non-monetary ways by:

  • Sharing/posting/tooting about the workshop
  • Remixing the zine
  • Creating site templates for others
  • Teaching someone else how to create their own pocket portal
  • Showing some love to Iffy Books (this workshop is a remix of their zine)
  • Completing the post-workshop survey (this is my first time hosting this workshop!!!)


Who should attend?

Are you curious about the intersection of technology, creativity, and activism? Then this workshop is for you!

This workshop is perfect for tech enthusiasts, artists, activists, and anyone eager to explore the world of DIY Wi-Fi access points in a welcoming environment.

Although some prior knowledge of microcontrollers and HTML + CSS helps, no prior experience is necessary!


What can I expect?

Prepare for a hands-on journey into the realm of Wi-Fi captive portals! As a participant, you'll learn how to transform a WEMOS D1 Mini board into a portable access point, creating a unique space for sharing custom web pages with devices around you.

Expect engaging discussions on the potential of pocket portals, guided setup of the Arduino IDE, and the chance to remix example files for your own creative twist.

By the end, you'll have a functioning pocket portal and the knowledge to continue your exploration.


What should I bring?

Please bring the following:

The following materials can be bought as an add-on with your ticket. If you'd rather bring your own equipment, make sure to have:

  • a WEMOS D1 Mini or WEMOS D1 Mini Pro
  • a microUSB cable
  • (optional) a portable USB charger power bank / battery pack


What will I receive as an attendee?

Each participant will receive a copy of the adapted "Spread ideas with a pocket Wi-Fi portal" zine.

If you purchase the Materials Kit add-on, you'll also receive a WEMOS D1 Mini, a microUSB cable, and a portable charger power bank.


Refund Policy: What if I can't make it anymore?

I get it: life happens! If you find yourself unable to attend, please get in touch me with me, and I'll do my best to accommodate your situation. You are also welcome to offer your ticket to someone you know just give me a heads up.

About the organizer

Hey there! My name's Candide Uyanze, and I'm a multi-hyphenate creative technologist working at the intersections of digital media, access, storytelling, and open source software. My creative practice explores memory, identity, and virtually-mediated human connections between people of African descent.

I'm hosting this workshop as part of the 2024 Open Hardware Summit.