100 Mobile Product Ideas...#1...
Last year, on my old blog, I posted an article about the usefulness of cookies to track consumer behaviour, and more potently, extending this tracking information into the location-sensitive mobile world. I promised an update...
The proposal is simple. We need all major brands, shops and so on to post their latest offers and essential product information via web services. What we also need is a useful, affordable web services client on our mobiles, by which I mean an RSS client of some description.
The client should have both push and pull capabilities....this is essential.
Let me take B&Q DIY centres as an example.
With pull, I can subscribe to the B&Q information channel and pull down information whenever I feel like it. More importantly, when I walk into a B&Q shop, I can pull down, there and then, all the latest offers in that store. What's more, all items should have a link to the product on the B&Q e-commerce site. I have often walked into the store, not found what I want, only to be told it's available on their site (or at the super-sized stores). So...I walk out of the shop. If I could order it with one-click AND be rewarded for doing so with a "you came to the store and didn't find it" discount, then they might get the business.
With push, I can receive latest updates to any channel via text message, which would contain a link to my channel telling me that it's been updated. This allows me to be notified of changes to any channel. This has all kinds of advantages.
Push also allows channel updates to be pushed whenever I move into the vicinity of a store, which is already do-able, especially with those handsets that come with integral GPS, like the Motorola handsets on Three. THEREFORE, the RSS web services channel MUST ensure that the store co-ordinates are available in the feed.
[Note that to do the handset location-sensing stuff, we need to have an API from the client into the GPS component of the device. We also need an underlying feature in the GPS component, whether its at the OS level, or application level, to do proximity sensing. There is some indication that all of this can be achieved via J2ME MIDP 2.0 and the location extension API JSR-179.]
Even this relatively simple and easy-to-implement idea would be useful to a wide number of mobile users.