City workers not yet living in old fridge boxes under motorways will now be able to receive news of their redundancies even faster, as a new video news channel may soon deploy onto street screens across the Square Mile. The screens will be attached to recyclo-eco-bins - which will also feature secret terrorist-bomb-proofing technology.
That, you have to say, is a positive zeitgeistgasm - relentless 24-hour feedback loop media, combined with a green/eco/recyclo push and some kind of mysterious counter-terrorism security bomb technology.
The scheme, known variously as RE:NEW and Renew, is the brainchild of former LSE students Kaveh Memari and Brian James, who have been punting it through six years and four rounds of financing. Last weekend, they finally clinched a deal with the notoriously stuffy City of London Corporation - the local government of the capital's financial district - permitting them to bring their bombproof media/rubbish bins onto the streets.
"The City has quite tough restrictions on street advertising," RE:NEW spokesman Bill Spears told the Reg. "They're also quite strict about street furniture - what they'll allow. This is a major step."
Spears said that the RE:NEW scheme "won't cost the government or Joe Public a penny". Rather, the idea is that bins will be sponsored, often by a major corporation with offices nearby. The sponsor pays for the bin to be installed, and gets their corporate logo on top of it - linked to positive assurances that the rubbish in the bins will all be recycled.
The servicing, cleaning, emptying and recycling will all be handled by RE:NEW, who will also manage the "financial news channel" which will play on the screens attached to the bins. There's a handy chart of potential central-London rubbish'n'media recycle platform portals here (pdf) for those interested.
Though Spears insisted that the video channel would be "agnostic" and "primarily news", he said that bin sponsors would be able to put "messages" on it, paying RE:NEW to do so. Likewise, "media partners" such as Bloomberg or Reuters, wishing to put their content on the bin channel, would be a "revenue source" for RE:NEW. There might also be paid-for "corporate announcements" - not adverts as such, but results and investor-relations stuff and so on.
But what about the bomb issue? As everyone knows, the reason that the City has almost no public litter bins is that they make a handy place to plant a bomb (or, for fans of the original Italian Job, an infrastructure-disabling electronics payload of some sort).
Not to worry - RE:NEW have that covered. Their bins, they say, feature "blast intelligent technology" which will mitigate blast and fragmentation. Amazingly, the bins are also "composed of more than 50 per cent recycled material". They also look quite slimline and elegant in the concept pics - no massive reinforced-concrete bunkers here.
We here on the Reg bomb-disposal desk loved the sound of that. We noticed a press release from Florida company BlastGard, in which RE:NEW signed up for their amazing lightweight bomb-quench tech, BlastWrap™. Indeed, BlastGard also refer to their stuff as "blast intelligent technology" (pdf), just like RE:NEW - especially if employed in their inhouse bombproof rubbish bin.