We try to stay as far away from it as possible, but the smelly truth is that poop is a powerful resource. Instead of pretending like it doesn’t exist, many eco-friendly designers are looking for a way to harvest the energy-producing potential of both human and animal fecal matter. We’ve seen a toilet-bike that runs on human waste, and a motorized rickshaw that runs on elephant poop. There’s also been plastic made from poop, and biofuel made from panda excrement.
The only problem with all these poop-to-power inventions is that they require lots of engineering smarts, or a sophisticated laboratory. And with a few exceptions, they don’t really produce anything that’s of use to the everyday consumer. Until now. Mexican Internet portal Terra has come up with a way to turn dog poop into free public Wi-Fi (instead of a smelly smudge on the bottom of your shoe).
The idea behind Terra’s “Poo Wifi” is to reward dog owners for picking up their pet’s droppings by giving them (and everyone else in the park) the instant gift of free wireless internet. As this review points out, the Wi-Fi is administered in timed increments based upon the amount of poop collected. The more poop deposited, the longer free Wi-Fi time will be provided.
Since almost no one goes for a walk without their smart phone or tablet, the Poo Wi-Fi idea is a brilliant way to encourage people to clean up after their pets while also giving them much needed (OK, much wanted) Internet access outside.
Currently, Terra is pilot testing the idea at 10 parks in Mexico City through a campaign by DDB Mexico. To keep people focused on depositing poop, instead of other garbage hostesses oversee the bins during the day, passing out bags for doggie droppings.