Ok, that was a slightly misleading headline, but nonetheless – Oden is another Swedish company trying to solve the “Wifi problem”. Here’s the thing, finding wifi out in public is a massive pain in the ass. Paywalls, accepting terms and conditions and signing up for a endless “Wifi-Zone-Hub-Spot” accounts is awfully frustrating. All you want to do is just get online.
Whilst Instabridge are tackling this problem by using personal networks and “sharing” – which for the record, has been pretty successful so far – Oden are trying to solve this problem by going directly to the businesses/locations themselves.
Oden offers a way for businesses (cafes, stores, bars) to offer “easy-to-access” wifi to it’s customers. The catch? As you probably guessed, you’re now open to receive “targeted” advertising and marketing content from those businesses. The idea is to also offer an “Analytics solution” which measures customer activity and allows businesses to offer discounts and special offers to increase royalty and retention.
I’m a little torn on this one, getting on wifi in public IS tough – but am I willing to hand over my Facebook details to “Lisa’s Coffeehouse” when I have an fairly solid 3G connection everywhere here in Sweden anyway? I guess it depends on the level of “marketing” I’m bound to receive.
It’s not overly innovative in terms of business model or technology, but for smaller businesses like cafe’s, it might just well be a compelling solution. In addition, for those with smaller phone plans – it might be interesting enough to use.