In addition to music and film, did you know this year’s SXSW will bring magic to the masses? People will transform into tools as homeless folks become hot spots for wireless Internet access at the Austin, Tex. festival. An offshoot of another project called Homeless Hotspots, this rather dehumanizing idea will see the impoverished walk around with MiFi hardware and shirts reading “I am a 4G Hotspot.” Those who wish to use the Internet can either make a cash contribution or an online donation via PayPal.
Bartle Bogel Hegarty, a United States advertising company, is behind the project. In the face of accusations that they’re objectifying the homeless, BHH offered this Digital Age defense: “Our hope is to create a modern version of this successful model, offering homeless individuals an opportunity to sell a digital service instead of a material commodity.” What do you think? [FACT]