Vendor punts coin-operated Wi-Fi base-station
People rarely need coins to make a call these days, but don’t ditch your coppers just yet because manufacturer Handlink has designed a coin-operated Wi-Fi access point.
Handlink's Wi-Fi point is coin-operated
The bizarre creation supports 802.11b/g connections, but this wireless wonder won’t just let you connect to the web the second your laptop comes within range.
First, you’ve got to dig deep and slot some coins into it, after which the kiosk will print out a ticket that details your temporary Internet access account details. You then use this information to gain web access through whatever enabled gadget you like, whether it be an Eee PC or an iPhone.
Of course, once your time has elapsed then the connection automatically ends. At which point, you’ll have to trot back over to the kiosk and feed it some more cash. Unfortunately, the machine doesn’t appear to accept notes or card payments.
Handlink’s coin-operated Wi-Fi access point is, admittedly, targeted at hotels, coffee shops and public places. But you have to appreciate the retro charm, mixed with new-age technology.
But I guess it makes sense. Being able to drop a coin in a slot if your moby goes out of range (coffee house could be in a faraday cage shopping mall) or you don't fancy sending your card details through the ether.
Paris, because she loves it when you fill her slot.
... Profit !
Someone could make some money here.
Instead of cash, why not send a code (written on the access point) by sms to the number (also written on the access point). You get a return message with password for login. Not locked to the device that sent the sms either. But only good for 1 login (device). Charge x for the sms and you've just got paid.
Does it do any good to say I think they already have this in Japan ?
Wouldn't a software based internet proxy/gateway suffice on a regular encrypted Wifi router?
Either have WPA on the router and get staff to provide the key of the day or have it keyless and open and just direct traffic to the authentication gateway allowing them to buy credits without leaving their laptop.