Homelessness, Wirelessness, and (In)visibility

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Every year around this time, South by Southwest (SXSW) sends the tech community abuzz with the latest and greatest in technology innovation. In 2012, one particular tech unveiling, called Homeless Hotspots, sent the community a-twitter (literally).

The Homeless Hotspots project equipped men from a local homeless shelter in Austin, TX, with Mi-Fi devices. These men acted as wireless hotspots, providing connectivity to the many wi-fi hungry devices of SXSW goers for a small suggested donation. The social media community blew up with people who were for and against the project for a wide variety of reasons. Concerns for human exploitation confronted discourse about the need for social innovation. I conducted a small research study on that debate, which was recently published in a journal called First Monday. Check out the link for more.

About the Author

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Jes Koepfler

Managing Director

Jes has a love for studying humans and their tools. More