The hybrid box represents a functional, usable prototype that attempts to improve the format of digital-physical hybrid meetings with a focus on remote participation, data protection and sustainability.
in collaboration with: stechlin institut, romy & stef richter

In order to better understand the necessity of these three conceptual pillars, it is first necessary to create an awareness of the problem in the status quo.The anticipated solution options inferred from this and their respective implantations in the imagined tech stack are then described.

On the one hand, hybrid formats usually take place today with external third parties such as Zoom instead of inviting people to join them in physical space. This results in the unintentional transfer of user data to these platforms. To counteract this, the hybrid box contains its own web server, which is only switched on when it is used, so that the remote guests are invited to the actual location and no data is collected or utilised. Furthermore, hybrid or remote video conferencing is not particularly sustainable from an energy perspective, as the servers are always running, even when no users are using them, and there is no influence on the feed-in of solar power. The self-hosting approach makes it possible to operate the hybrid box completely energy-autonomously. Finally, hybrid events are often sobering for external organisers as they are difficult to forget. The hybrid box changes this and hands over all control to the external parties so that digital moderation is no longer dependent on people on site. As any HDMI signal to the hybrid box is automatically split and no more tedious manual screen sharing is necessary. A free and open source publication of this project is currently being developed.