On June 18th, four pigeons will embark from Malmö, Sweden with miniature backpacks on and share their journey on Twitter. Hans, Wilma, Jean Claude and Engeli, the chosen feathered fliers, are part of a marketing stunt by startup Fogg Mobile to promote their international SIM card that offers a flat rate for data roaming.
The homing pigeons will carry 28g packpacks which contain a SIM card connected to a GSM database, that will activate the tweets. The tiny pack also includes a GPS device to locate the birds on their route. Each pigeon has an individual Twitter account, where their location will be shared as well as tweets about the city landmarks as they pass by. Fogg is inviting people to submit their own tweets, letting them choose which country they want the tweet to be released in. So as Hans or Wilma fly over Paris, you could have them tweet say hello to your favorite French friend. It is a melding of the future of communication with its past.
Fogg worked closely with the Munich University pigeon research unit, who developed a perfectly sized pack that wouldn’t disturb the pigeons’ flight. The ‘Tweet Beyond Borders’ stunt is intended to promote the Fogg SIM as an ideal travel card, as it allows you to continue tweeting and use mobile data as you cross between countries. Fogg’s John Harmander told Wired UK:
The homing pigeon’s disregard for national boundaries and track record carrying important information makes them the perfect choice for this exciting experiment.
Watch the pigeons get suited up for their journey in the video below: