September 19, 2019

The Universe Is Going to Be a Billboard

“Imagine you’ve stepped outside on a crisp, clear autumn evening. Ah, the beautiful night sky! The awe of the cosmos! How very small we are in this vast universe, tiny specks on this pale blue dot, lucky to exist in this geological instant that Earth is hospitable to life. Truly, the sky gives us the gift of perspective—wait, is that the Pepsi logo?

It could be, at least starting in 2021. Earlier this month, Russian company StartRocket confirmed to Futurism that it was working on launching satellite ads to be viewed in the night sky. Its first client, the company said, was PepsiCo. A PepsiCo rep later confirmed to Gizmodo that the company did partner with StartRocket for an “exploratory test” advertising an energy drink but had no plans to continue advertising in space. It’s unclear whether StartRocket may have more clients lined up.

In a video detailing its vision, StartRocket’s ads rise in the sky behind the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, a Bali temple, London’s Tower Bridge, and Arctic icebergs, competing with the aurora borealis. (StartRocket’s website depicts a dystopia that I cannot possibly capture in words.) The ads would be projected by a constellation of satellites orbiting at about 280 miles above Earth, each equipped with light-reflecting Mylar sails.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"Congratulations, Mr. President. It took an extraordinary effort, but you finally managed to spark a serious global crisis. I know you don’t like to share credit, but don’t worry. The current mess in the Middle East centered around Iran is all..."

"We’re approaching the anniversary of one of the nastiest political battles it has been my misfortune to witness—the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite credible accusations of sexual harassment and assault and his..."

"There are few one-offs in life on Earth—rarely can a single species boast a trait or ability that no other possesses. But human language is one such oddity. Our ability to use subtle combinations of sounds produced by our vocal cords to create..."

"He walked through the coffee shop door and scanned the crowd. A familiar smile bloomed as he recognized me, despite how my appearance had changed over the years. I’m bald and bearded now, and heavier. I wear an extra decade on my face, and I’m..."

"The poverty rate in the United States fell to 11.8 percent in 2018, according to data released last week by the Census Bureau — the lowest it’s been since 2001. But this estimate significantly understates the extent of economic deprivation in..."

"Streaming is the future of TV. But for now a big part of the streaming business revolves around old TV shows. Latest case in point: Netflix is paying a lot of money for the rights to show Seinfeld to its 150 million subscribers around the world..."

"On the eve of the second Israeli election of 2019, there is no shortage of apocalyptic rhetoric about the potential consequences of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election. From the New York Times' editorial column to The Forward’s..."

"Is there a backlash toward the technology industry in the culture? I tend to think so, having written about its various twists and turns most weekdays for the past couple years now. But sometimes an obsession with a beat can lead to myopia, and..."