Bamboos to reveal urban wifi

An intriguing new "urban computing" in the form of "communicating bamboo" has been developed by Orange Labs (A France Telecom R&D subsidiary). The point of such urban devices is to make WiFi hostpots more visible in public spaces and to access push-based services (mp3 download, vocal announces, etc.). Beyond the "((o))" signs that are starting to be used to show that there is wifi in the vicinity, this project is curious since it provides people with a more tangible artifacts. Related to this project is the idea of "Data Forest" in which the bamboo would be an anchor to digital services (hence a forest made of lots of bamboos). (Via fabien eychenne). For people who can read french, there is a video about this service here (presented by Emmanuel Mahé).

Why do I blog this? What is interesting here is the design of something tangible that would reveal that digital-yet-invisible services are available. A new sort of urban furnitures to some extent. I bet the designers also expect different uses to appear such as wifi picnic Nintendo DS group-play or other weird behavior yet to be described.