How would you like a parking meter that tells you when you’re running out of time? Well, of course, most do that if you’re standing there, but how about one that will call you to let you know? How about a parking meter that creates little WiFi hotspots?
Well, in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Niagara Falls, N.Y., city officials are testing the PhotoViolationMeter, from the Photo Violation Technologies Corporation, natch. The plan behind these new, smarter meters is to let consumers have a way to not only find out they’re running out of time, but to also make a wireless payment, so they can avoid that hefty parking ticket ($50 here in Chicago). Of course, that’s not why cities have parking meters: Officials are secretly (or not-so-secretly) hoping you’ll forget to feed the meter and feed their coffers instead (see: Denver Boot).
The flip side of the nifty wireless meters is that cities can get handheld devices from the fine folks at Photo Violation Tech that will take digital photos of your meter transgressions, making fine collection easier for city officials. If you did forget to feed the meter, you can pay your fine wirelessly right at the meter.