IDEA: Turn Homeless People into 4G Wireless Hotspots!!! Users Make Donations!!! [View all]
Win! (I think) Also, kind of creepy.
Turning The Homeless Into 4G Hotspots 'Homeless Hotspots' A Hit With South By Southwest Visitors
By Stacy Cowle
POSTED: 2:43 pm EDT March 12, 2012
AUSTIN (CNNMoney) -- It sounds like a headline from the The Onion, but it's true: A project called "Homeless Hotspots" is turning homeless Austin residents into mobile wireless hotspots outside the South by Southwest convention center.
It's part marketing stunt, part genuine charitable initiative -- and it's generating lots of double-takes and chatter from those who pass by.
"I'm Melvin, a 4G hotspot," reads the T-shirt of participant Melvin Hughes. "SMS HH Melvin to 25827 for access."
Hughes is carrying a Verizon MiFi 4G hotspot. Texting his code sends back his network password, which the recipient can use to suck down a few minutes of fast broadband access -- a scare commodity at SXSW, a tech/film/music gathering that has drawn more than 20,000 visitors to Austin.