Every year, about 2 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer. And despite the many traditional and online ad warnings against spending too much time in the sun, people still flock to beaches and sun-drenched patches of grass to catch some rays.
An agency called Happiness Brussels has developed a clever Wi-Fi system that only works when you’re in the shade. The first installation of the aptly named Shadow Wi-Fi is on a beach in Peru, where the agency built a massive wall to cast a long shadow across the sand. If users want to surf the web, they’ll need to be in the shade, and as the sun moves, they’ll have to move with it. (A sensor tracks the sun’s movements, and an antenna beams internet access only to the shaded area.)
The approach uses positive reinforcement to encourage healthy behavior preventing skin cancer, while also educating users, since they are provided with a series of educational information when they sign up and sent an email with even more details on skin cancer prevention.
“This age is all about putting people into action, which is exactly what Shadow WiFi does,” said Geoffrey Hantson, chief creative officer of Happiness. “It’s a very behavioural idea. It doesn’t just inform people about the dangers of too much sun. It gives them a really good reason to actually seek some shade: free WiFi. And at the same time we are of course informing them, and potentially preventing skin cancer.”
Shadow Wi-Fi is currently only available in Peru, but Happiness Brussels is working with cancer foundations across the world to bring the network to other places, including San Francisco and parts of New Zealand