Dirty air? No WiFi. Clean air? WiFi! An Amsterdam start-up wants to provide free internet via smart birdhouses. On one condition: good air quality.
Using the carrot is better than the stick. This is a principle known not only by dog owners, but by Amsterdam-based Tree WiFi. The start-up uses a rewarding approach on human beings. The reward is something that is highly valuable in our digital society: free wifi. Free wifi that comes from glowing birdhouses that hang from trees.
Animal lovers can relax: there are no real birds in these houses, just technical equipment. Equipment that provides WiFi and equipment that monitors air quality. If the air quality is good enough, the birdhouse emits a green light and the coveted internet signal. No green light, no signal.
The idea might sound like a joke, but TreeWiFi is an interesting approach for several reasons. Firstly, air quality is poor in many cities and monitoring networks are often incomplete due to the high cost of measuring stations. The smart birdhouses are smaller and much cheaper. Secondly: it motivates city dwellers to take action to improve air quality. In fact, if they dial the number of the bird network, they receive information on the dangers of air pollution and tips on what citizens can do to help. For example, riding a bike. And finally: the glowing birdhouses serve as a constant reminder of the issue of air pollution, in a fun way.
For those who like moving pictures, here is an explanatory video:
Translated from this article by Silvana Steiger originally published on our German-language platform.