State transport authorities across Australia will be eyeing a six-month trial in South Australia, which will see one metropolitan bus equipped with a raft of multimedia equipment and free wireless internet access.
The trial, which has been on the South Australian Government's wish list some time now, will be kicked off today. A group of technology companies invited by the government to participate in the trial hopes to prove that advertising can fund the cost of giving away internet access on public transport.
Cisco, Adam Internet — provider of WiMax broadband to metropolitan blackspots — and a local integrator MIMP Connecting Solutions (which resells Israeli-made geographic advertising system, transSpot) have helped equip the bus over the past year. The bus's internet connection will be filtered by Webshield. The University of South Australia's Institute for Telecommunications Research assisted in testing the system over the past 18 months.
A video of a similar installation on a limited number of trams in San Francisco, California can be viewed below.
Wi-Fi equipped devices will be able to access the internet via the bus's Cisco mobile access router. The bus will also come with Bluetooth transmitters to provide access to games and applications, and two 19-inch displays that will show advertising, ABC news feeds and location information.