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Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

Always Open…Mini tells it how it should be

It’s amazing how many Cabrios you see being driven around with their roofs up on perfectly sunny days. I know if I was lucking enough to own one the roof would be down as long as the sun was out and the sky was blue (and the car had seats suitable for cooking on and a thermonuclear heater for the German winter).

Now Mini has come along and the natty designers are positively goading us to live our motoring lives alfresco by virtue of the Mini Always Open Timer. This little device records the number of hours you spend driving with the roof down and is the concept behind the new Mini viral you see above.

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I can see the web 2.0 application now, showing how you managed to have the most open hours of any Mini Cabrio driver. The nice thing about this whole concept, especially if Mini does take it social, is the it builds a very strong sense of a personal relationship with the car and could further strengthen the sense of community amongst Mini owners.

Interestingly enough, BMW cabrio owners have access to a similar but alltogether more passive system: the in-car entertainment system will look up the local weather conditions and suggest whether it’s a good day to have the roof down. Not that I couldn’t have looked out the window or anything…

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.