Internet Of Things Project “Hello Lamp Post” Was A Huge Success

The city of Bristol’s municipal twist on the Internet Of Things ended this week. More than 25,000 texts were sent, and almost 4,000 people joined the conversation.

Hello Lamp Post, an interactive art project-slash-game that allowed passersby in Bristol to converse via SMS message with postboxes and other objects, has finished. The two-month installation, which wrapped up on Sunday, was so successful that it is traveling to Brazil next year, and may even be a feature at next year’s SXSW in Austin. Ben Barker, co-creator of Hello Lamp Post and cofounder of PAN Studio, says he hopes to introduce the project to other cities in the near future.


The stats for the seven-week project, which demonstrates an arty take on the Internet of Things trend, have just come in. A total of 25,674 text messages were sent by 3,956 people during conversations with one of 1,161 inanimate objects in and around the city. Graffiti, a hot air balloon, ducks, and even a blob of discarded chewing gum were woken up by the project, masterminded by PAN Studio for Bristol’s first Playable City award.

Some of the messages received were sweet: When asked by a billboard what a passerby would write on it: “I love you! So that everyone who went past would think it was for them XD.” And some of the messages were just odd. “What would be my superpower? Super beak that can tap tap tap on the top of people’s heads… Why: pick people’s brains.”

[Image: Flickr user Thomas Leth-Olsen]

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My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.