There’s lots of talk about how wireless service providers can attract the developer community to help them populate their app stores and, in the process, move beyond the dumb pipe model. But how do mobile operators attract end users to those app stores once they’re ready for business?
Eran Wyler of InfoGin (News - Alert) believes he has the answer.
Wyler, founder and CEO of the Newton, Mass.-based company, explained that InfoGin offers a solution (in the form of server software) that can allow a mobile operator’s applications to appear with the swipe of a finger on a smartphone – even if the user who owns that finger is already involved in another activity such as surfing the Web. To demonstrate this possibility, Wyler visited the CNN website, swiped his finger across the screen and in the process brought up an application that gave him the option of sharing CNN content with friends or taking other actions. He said this kind of capability has many applications, such as allowing an individual to activate a shopping widget to get the best price on a retail product, for example.
While the ideas of multitasking and widgets are nothing new, the InfoGin angle on this is that it can help service providers present their subscribers with carrier-branded applications and services without requiring those individuals to visit the network operators’ app stores to get them. (The concept makes sense, given it can be difficult to change people’s behavior. Indeed, why should I visit the Verizon app store on my iPhone (News - Alert) if I’m already used to getting apps via the App Store? But if new functionality can just appear without me having to open another app, and allows new in-app or in-website functionality, that’s a bit more appealing, isn’t it?)
But the ability to get a carrier’s brand in front of its customers, and potentially bring the company added revenue in the process, is not the only InfoGin upside, Wyler noted. The organization’s software also does what Wyler has coined “content adaptation.” That means it analyzes Web content and makes sure it is made available to end users as quickly as possible, in the correct format for their endpoints, and with the best possible experience.
Microsoft (News - Alert) is already realizing the benefits of InfoGin technology, as the software giant is using the solution to power its Bing for mobile search tool, Wyler told TMCnet at Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona.
“It looks like someone designed the content for the small screen, even though it’s automatic,” he said, pointing out an image brought up on Bing.
“By the way,” he added, “there is nothing I am installing on the device. The user doesn’t have to do anything.”
Wyler at this point went on to demonstrate how InfoGin software could even enable a network operator or search company to allow Flash-based video to work on an iPhone, and without requiring any action on the end user’s behalf.
“We support the unsupported,” Wyler said.
What’s more, InfoGin can help carriers more efficiently leverage their network resources by doing compression of content, reducing the number of requests on the network by addressing potential problems before they happen, and offering other optimization, he continued.
InfoGin is now in trials with several mobile operators.
Edited by Tammy Wolf