Four homing pigeons are scheduled to make a very unusual flight across Europe, starting in Sweden this week. Each bird is wearing a 28-gram backpack that’s packed with wireless tech so that as they fly across the continent they’ll be live-tweeting.
The experiment is a promotional kick from Sweden’s Fogg Mobile to demonstrate how using Twitter on a flat rate tariff won’t break the bank as you travel, but it’s still a fascinating and surprising demonstration of the Internet Of Things. The birds won’t be tweeting (pigeons coo, you know) but instead they’ll be relaying messages uploaded by the public, but since the birds’ backpacks contain SIM cards and GPS antennas, you’ll still be able to track them across Denmark and ultimately into Germany as they travel from their release point on June 18th.
Separately, the EU has recently moved to abolish roaming fees (of the sort that regularly push travelers’ bills up) in a bid to improve consumer experience and also boost intra-industry competition in what is currently a very fragmented market.