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Ogilvy and Maxis create device to help in flood or monsoon rain emergencies

Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong has partnered with Malaysian network Maxis to create a new cellular device that works when power supplies have been damaged during extreme weather.

The ‘SOS’ device is safe to use and is fast to set up, so that people within flood affected areas or during monsoon rains can communicate while normal telecommunications are down.

According to Ogilvy, it had to create weatherproof boxes with ‘mesh nods’, a battery, router and antenna. The nodes are then meant to be placed on rooftops in affected areas, connecting to each other to create the temporary network.

Ogilvy & Mather - Maxis SOS Campaign from Work that works on Vimeo.

The system then means any smartphone can connect to a ‘SOS’ wifi network, no matter who they are usually powered by, allowing messages to get through even if there are outages.

The move represents a trend for agencies helping to build products and utility, rather than purely ads or communications.

Rafael Guida, executive creative director, OglivyOne Hong Kong, said: “Extreme weather often cripples power supplies and cellular activity, preventing people from calling for help or telling loved ones they are safe. The Maxis SOS Network is simple but highly effective and taps into Ogilvy’s digital and technological expertise. We are extremely proud of this product and would like to see this communications device help more potential people in need.”

According to Ogilvy, only a few mesh nodes are needed to cover an area of several square kilometers. The battery in each node lasts for one week and can be recharged via solar, generator, mains or car battery.