Police Bluecasting

I got bluetoothed yesterday at Euston Station. It was O2 sending me a TV ad to watch on my phone. A boring and mildly depressing use of technology.

But it reminded me of this, much more ‘interesting’, use of bluetooth that I’d read about:

Messages using Bluetooth technology will flash up on mobile phones and palmtop computers telling people they will be ripped off if they enter Soho’s notorious clip joints.

The message from Westminster City Council reads: “£5 to get in, £500 to get out. Criminals operate some of the hostess bars in Soho. Don’t enter without knowing what you’ll get for your money.”

Basically as you’re walking by dodgy strip joints you’ll get messages warning you that they’re run by criminals and that they’re out to con you. But it does raise a couple of questions:

  1. Why don’t they actually do something about shutting down these places if they’re so bad that they need to employ technical solutions to warn people away?
  2. What’s to stop dodgy strip club owners from setting up cheapo bluecasting kits to warn people off rival establishments?

Read more on the City of Westminster Site

Photo by: James Cridland

Interactive Cinema Ads

Brazillian interactive cinema ad for Fiat using text messages. More details on the MIT Advertising Lab blog

Interesting idea, and something we’ve had discussions about before. But I always felt it was really irresponsible to do something in cinemas using mobile phones. And a bit odd too. When I go into a cinema the first thing I do is turn my phone off. Even before I get into the screen. So to turn it back on again to text an advert, only to have to turn it off again straightaway feels like a chore. Be really interesting to know what the response rates are like.

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Ooooh oooh yes please. I’d love to know how to grab youth attention using these new fangled new media channels and technologies. Sounds exciting.

Damn! I should have guessed, breakdancing kids on mobile phones. The answer was staring me straight in the face all along. These photos are from a marketing pack I’ve just received for a conference.

Anyone know where I can get the ‘urban youth cliche clipart vol 7 cd’? I’m searching for a bmx-ing blackberry user and a skater grinding a PSP.

(If you fancy going to the conference, it might be ‘wicked’, it’s at: www.youthperspective.com)

Mod Your Mob for Orange

Here’s a little something that we’ve been working on for Orange. Called Mod Your Mob it’s all about creating freakish versions of mobile phones. I’ve not had much to do with it, and I’m not quite sure if it’s a pisstake or not. I’m not sure anyone else is either.

If I was an independent observer I might be tempted to point at my post below (the one about user generated content). But at the same time there are some quite funny things up there. Go and have a look (if you fancy). And there is decent scooter up for grabs…

It’s only just launched and hasn’t been promoted yet, so it’s a bit quiet for now: Orange – Mod Your Mob

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Broken iPods. What to do?

ipod graphicI’ve got 2 x 4th gen ipods at home, both with knackered hard drives. My inner environmentalist says that I can’t throw them away. But getting them fixed will cost £150 quid each. Which just isn’t worth it considering they’re old and scratched up.

Is there anything I can do with them? Turn them into decorative dimmer switches? I suppose I’ve got a pair so I could make them hot and cold taps?
Or like mobile phones is there a charity that can do something with them?

Or even is there some art project I can give them to?

UPDATE: I thought some more about fixing it and found this: Replacing the Hard Drive of an iPod, and it looks do-able.  But a 40gb drive costs almost £100 and then I’ve got the risk of screwing it up. Oh what a dilemma.