Remember the whole way back to November when Startacus first informed you of the Playable City Awards for 2013? No? That’s okay, we’ve put a hyperlink in to remind you. Feel free to click it.
Anyway, the idea was to promote a sense of playfulness around Bristol city through artwork or creativity with creative technology being a core requirement; and the winners have been
Hello Lamp Post! beat 93 other applications from around the world to secure the £30,000 prize and will see their project installed across the city over the summer of 2013. Their idea is that lampposts, bus stops, post boxes and other assorted generic street items are so common place in cities nowadays so as to be almost invisible. Hello Lamp Post! invites people to conduct secret conversations on these items, communicating by sending texts to items unique codes before seeing your message appear.
These codes and a lot of the other technology is already in existence, using the identity information council staff use to identify if equipment is ever broken or in need of repair.
The way it will work is straight forward. You text the word “Hello”, the name of the object and its code. Something like “Hello post-box 42.” The post-box well then respond, thus giving the impression of a city alive. It might say hello. It might tell you to leave it alone, that it’s busy. Maybe even to put an umbrella over it to stop the rain.
The project though is a good indicator of the opportunities that exist for start-ups if you keep a look out for them. 93 submissions for a project worth £30,000 isn’t an overtly substantive number, so if you see another type of competition and think, “There’ll be thousands of other submissions. No point in me doing it” – remember, everyone else may be thinking the same.
Written by Ethan Loughrey
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