What some might have thought as joke has now become reality! Homeless people are being used as WiFi hotspots.
Homeless person working as WiFi Hotspot
A new program at the South by Southwest festival that sets homeless people up as mobile 4G hotspots has sparked a heated debate. Homeless Hotspots sets up nine homeless people with 4G devices that can allow walkers-by to access the internet in exchange for a donation.
So technical it works like this, the person is wearing some LTE (4G) phone or alike, which is connected to some WiFi-Router, which gives access to peoples Laptop/mobiles/etc WiFi capable devices. This is done for a small donation (2 US $/15 minutes).
Now what does this mean for person providing this service, the router is radiating permanently its 10 Hz beacon signal in order to advertise the service to people on the road. The 4G (LTE) device is at least in addition to the router radiating if someone is using the service.
Homeless Hotspots Map
If this service is intended to lower the number of homeless people through radiation remains unknown, though not impossible?
Those people already have a lowered immune system, due to mal nutrition, which is highly likely if someone is living on the street. In addition to unhealthy living style with bad sanitation.
It would be pretty interesting to check those homeless hotspots health now and in 6/12 month in addition to a group not providing this service, what do you think?
– Is using homeless people as hotspots helpful or exploitative?
– SXSW: Meet Clarence, The Homeless Hotspot (Video)
– Homeless Hotspots (Homepage)
– Obdachlose als wandelnde Hot Spots (German)