NeoBytes :) is an occasional feature that takes a step back from the big headlines, to take a look at what else is happening in the vast expanse of the tech world - often with a cynical eye, and always with a dose of humour.
How far would you go for a freebie? Maybe it's best you don't answer that. But in this day and age, most of us normal folk are accustomed to regularly handing over our data to companies, sharing deals with friends, retweeting marketing messages, and plenty more besides, all in the pursuit of nabbing a great deal on a product or some free access to a service.
But one web access provider is hoping that people will be willing to go further. Mexico’s Terra network – part of the multinational Telefónica empire – has launched a new initiative that it hopes will promote cleaner cities and parks, while rewarding citizens for their efforts.
The plan is simple: dog owners are encouraged to scoop up their pooch’s poop and drop it into a special container, which calculates the weight of the doggy droppings and rewards the owner with free minutes of Wi-Fi access. The greater the weight of the poop, the more minutes of access will be granted.
The 'Poo WiFi' campaign was created by the Mexico office of marketing agency DDB, and Terra is rolling out the initiative on a trial basis to ten parks in Mexico City.
As Creativity Online reports, the agency freely admits that there’s nothing to stop non-dog owners from chucking in any old crap into the box and getting free Wi-Fi access for it, but this is still advantageous in promoting cleaner parks, as citizens become more likely to dispose of their refuse properly. But to highlight the specific aim of reducing dog mess in Mexico’s parks, hostesses have been tasked with the glamorous job of distributing plastic bags to dog-walkers to aid in grabbing those turds.
However, the agency has not yet commented on the possibility of dog owners massively over-feeding their animals in a desperate effort to maintain the flow of canine feculence, to ensure a continuous internet connection. Perhaps the good people of Mexico City are above such behaviour - but now might be a good time to get a bigger dog.
Or a horse.