A Tech City start-up called EyeTease has been given the go-ahead to install free, ad-supported WiFi access points in London’s black cabs from next year.
The CabWiFi service will offer passengers 15 minutes of free WiFi access in exchange for watching a 15 second advert.
The service works by converting 3G and 4G mobile signals into a WiFi network. "The unique vehicle-based technology intelligently overcomes issues such as connectivity on the move and connectivity in between buildings," the company says.
"With dwell times averaging 15 minutes in the back of a taxi, what better way to pass the time than to use your laptop, tablet, book reader or phone with guilt-free Internet access," said EyeTease CEO Richard Corbett. " Tourists and business travellers can now access their emails, talk on Skype or surf the web without the fear of being hit with high data roaming charges when they return home."
The company has said it is in "progressed conversations" with several advertisers who might support the scheme.
EyeTease is also working on digital advertising screens that sit on top of taxis. "Following 3 years of development and over a quarter of million investment, Eyetease is determined to champion this new format in London, which it hopes will be trialed in early 2013, pending Transport for London approval," it said.