Practical Technology

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Homeless and wireless at SXSW

When I first read that homeless people were being used as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots at Austin Texas’ South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) festival, I didn’t believe it. Believe it.

BBH Labs, a self-proclaimed skunkworks innovation branch of the marketing firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty brought Homeless Hotspots, to SXSW they claim, as a “charitable experiment.”It works by giving the homeless 4G Mi-Fi devices. You, a SXSW tech. hipster are then supposed to “introduce yourself, then log on to their 4G network via your phone or tablet for a quick high-quality connection. You pay what you want (ideally via the PayPal link on the site so we can track finances).”

How can you tell if one is within range? By as BBH puts, :as you wander between locations murmuring to your coworker about how your connection sucks and you can’t download/stream/tweet/instagram/check-in, you’ll notice strategically positioned individuals wearing “Homeless Hotspot” t-shirts.”

Excuse me as I throw up.


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