One of the challenges in making the Mesh Potato as dead simple to use as possible is the fact that, unlike many modern Internet devices, it has no GUI. Sure, you can plug a laptop into the ethernet port or connect via WiFi to a web interface but the Mesh Potato on its own has no GUI, which presents certain challenges in designing a drop dead easy-to-use device.
However, constraint can be both a barrier and an enabler of innovation and this is certainly true of the Mesh Potato. As it turns out, we are only just beginning to discover the potential of the voice interface to the Mesh Potato to improve user experience. Here is a great example.
The first thing you want to do when you power up a Mesh Potato is make sure it has a good connection to its peers. This is easy if you have a GUI or even a command line but what if you just have a telephone handset? David Rowe developed a script for his deployment of the Dili Village Telco that continuously polled the quality of the mesh link on the MP. Elektra has taken that one further and integrated the script into a voice interface that give continuous audio feedback on link quality making it easy to tune your WiFi connection with a simple handset. Here’s a brief video of me testing out this feature.