Eyetease, a TechCity digital advertising start-up, has received approval from Transport for London to roll-out its high speed wi-fi service, CabWifi, in the iconic black cab.
The system turns 3G and 4G mobile connectivity into a wi-fi hotspot for passengers, which the company says is a unique function of its product.
The service uses an ‘ads for access’ model, where passengers have to watch a 15 second advert before getting 15 minutes of free internet access. Drivers have a separate login and should be able to off-set the high cost of data charges incurred from using taxi apps.
2013 roll-out expected
Eyetease says it is in ‘progressed’ talks with several major consumer brands, including a global credit card company and a leading mobile phone manufacturer, to sponsor the roll-out in early 2013.
Founder and CEO, Richard Corbett, said: “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.”
Awaiting approval on iTaxitop
Eyetease is awaiting approval from TfL for its iTaxitop, the first digital rooftop advertising solution available for cabs in London and an evolution of the New York ‘taxitop’ concept.
Geo-located and time sensitive ads, news and public information will be updated wirelessly and broadcast across the double-sided digital screens on top of taxis.
The technology development has taken three years and the company has received more than £250,000 of investment. Eyetease hopes will be trialled in early 2013, pending TfL approval.
Eyetease was founded in January 2010 is ranked among the 100 UK start-ups 2012 by Startups.co.uk. It is housed at the Google Campus inside the ‘Silicon Roundabout’.