It sounds like something out of a darkly satirical science-fiction dystopia. But it’s absolutely real — and a completely problematic treatment of a problem that otherwise probably wouldn’t be mentioned in any of the panels at South by Southwest Interactive.
Homeless Hotspots is “a charitable experiment” by BBH Labs, the skunkworks wing of marketing firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty. In Austin, BBH Labs is partnering with Front Steps Shelter to equip people from Front Steps’ case management system with 4G MiFi devices to serve as pay-per-use hotspots for attendees at SXSWi.
This is easily the smartest tech idea ever rolled out at SXSW!