A few years ago an acquaintance of mine had a brilliant idea. He wanted to persuade advertisers to sponsor so called “SMS Waves”.
A football stadium would ask everybody in the audience to send an SMS with their seat number to our system and then at one point during the break everybody would hold up their mobile phones, and a wave of ringtones would go around the stadium.
Sounded great in theory and we decided to invest a few thousand to build a prototype. The entrepreneur even patented the technology and started pitching it to potential clients.
Reality can be a cruel though. When we first tried it out, with 50 volunteers during a local basketball game, we realized it would never work. Half the participants had their mobiles on vibrate, used a ringtone that was inaudible and it was totally unpredictable when phones would start ringing. Some started ringing within a few seconds and others took 45 seconds before they woke up and made a sound.
Oh well, you win some you lose some.
Today I was reminded of our little adventure by this beautiful commercial from Vodafone. With my history in getting a lot of mobile phones to do one single thing at the same time I can assure you the whole thing is as fake as a kid in a balloon, but that shouldn’t spoil the fun:
According to the official website these are 1000 connected phones playing in concert. There are two movies there on how they made the whole thing work.