This is an actual thing that happened at the tech and branding Sodom and Gomorrah known as SXSW this week:
South By Southwest 2012 can be summarized thusly: An impossibly-named marketing company called Bartle Bogle Hegarty is doing a little human science experiment called Homeless Hotspots. It gives out 4G hotspots to homeless people along with a promotional t-shirt. The shirt doesn’t say, “I have a 4G hotspot.” It says, “I am a 4G hotspot.”
You can guess what happens next. You pay these homeless, human hotspots whatever you like, and then I guess you sit next to them and check your email and whatnot. The digital divide has never hit us over the head with a more blunt display of unselfconscious gall.
It’s not a joke or a hoax, they are turning homeless people into wireless hotspots for the Twitterati to use. I think I’m going to be sick.
This will be my last SXSW post. I’m done.