According to the latest reports, decentralized personal server platform Urbit has introduced a new set of tools in the form of an application named OS 1. The app is equipped with a group messaging app, a message board, and a note-taking system. It also comprises of several simple apps, like a clock or a weather meter. Urbit developers are positioning it in the social computing space, and the company recently tweeted that OS 1 is a unified system for building digital communities.

What is OS 1?

Urbit explained the idea through a blog post. “It reads, OS 1 is a very simple, integrated tool for messaging, sharing links, and writing with a group of people. OS 1 is somewhere between ‘productivity software’ and a ‘social network’. We think it’s the beginning of an altogether new breed of social computing.”

Through OS 1, Urbit aims to host servers on a decentralized platform, rather than on the centralized ones like Amazon Web Services. It is like running a network of personal cloud computers in an independent manner. Urbit operates on a decentralized, encrypted, and peer-to-peer protocol, so the OS 1 makes perfect sense.

How does the OS 1 work?

According to the blog post, a unique ID behind each user powers the network. It states, “An Urbit ID identifies each person in a group. It is a short, memorable name that you own with a private key. Each group is private and requires an invite. Groups aren’t discoverable and they’re meant to be high-trust communities of people. More like a commune than a public event.” The Ethereum blockchain stores the IDs. However, it is important to note that this is Ethereum’s only purpose in the entire process.

A virtual machine called Nock, an OS called Arvo, and a programming language named Hoon powers the OS 1 application.

You can read more about the application and Urbit here.