Feeds

SMS-enabled solar parking meters for Eastbourne

Txt chat hits new levels of tedium

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Sussex coastal town of Eastbourne is soon to receive a new hi-tech boon, in the form of solar-powered armoured parking meters which can send text messages.

Apparently the machines, each of which has its own SIM card, aren't endowed with Douglas Adams style overspec'd artificial intelligence brains. Nobody need fear that a desperately bored carpark ticket machine will try to strike up a philosophical txt conversation, or get depressed and refuse to issue tickets.

Rather, the idea is that the boxes, jingling as they must be with cash, will text a control centre when their coin compartments get full up - or if anyone should try to break into them.

The Guardian quotes East Sussex councillor Matthew Lock, "lead member" for transport, as saying:

"We are serious about giving Eastbourne a parking system that will encourage economic growth and will make the lives of residents that little bit easier. So we have thought long and hard..."

...And come up with the idea of text-messaging solar powered carparking hardware.

Apparently in the event of an attempted meter-raid, the droid will squeal for help by text, at which point the forces of law and order will spring into action and apprehend any shrapnel-snaffling miscreant before he can make his escape.

According to the Guardian, mechanical "cries for help will be sent via text and picked up at a 24-hour control centre... Staff could then alert police."

Given that police will seldom respond with any urgency to home-security-system-generated alarms (justifiably, given the percentage of false alerts), it's hard to see how this would help. Indeed, as the Guardian implies, they probably won't even bother calling the law in many cases.

But Councillor Lock was gung-ho.

"This will be one of the most secure parking services in the country," he said. "With this system, anyone who tampers with a machine runs the risk of being caught in the act and could be jailed."

Sure. If the jails weren't quite so full they might, anyway.®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.