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Mini Cooper Launches Talking Billboards! I Want One!

Just when I thought Mini Coopers couldn't get any more adorable and innovative, the makers have launched a new ad campaign with special billboards displaying personalized messages to Mini drivers as they go by. How does it work? Mini Cooper drivers in trial cities filled out questionnaires with information like birth dates and special interests - for example "I love beer," "I need to work out after work" and "I love my boyfriend." The drivers were then given a chip with Radio Frequency Identification technology inside and the magic of technology takes over.


RFID is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is an object that can be attached to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification using radio waves. Meaning, when Mini Cooper drivers speed past a billboard, it'll flash a personal message, like "Happy Birthday, geeksugar!" For more about this awesome program, just read more

According to the AP, the pilot program is being conducted in four cities, including San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Miami. About 4,500 Mini owners, who lived in or near those cities and who were active in Mini chat rooms, were invited to participate. They filled out information on a Web site, including their name, their car's nickname, their profession and details about how they drive. Mini will send them an electronic key fob, which the company calls a Mini motorboard, that works within 500 feet of the billboard. Launched in the US in 2003, the Cooper has overcome harsh criticism from those who said Americans wouldn't like small cars and fostered a real cult following. The second-generation Mini goes on sale next month. Listen to the NPR story.

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