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December 14, 2007

Zumobi Launches Beta Version of Zooming User Interface and Mobile Widget Platform

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Zumobi has launched the Beta version of its award-winning Zooming User Interface and mobile widget platform.
According to the company, Zumobi can now be downloaded free from the company’s Web site. Content will be available from more than 75 mobile widgets or tiles, including many from Zumobi launch partners such as Amazon.com (News - Alert), MTV Networks, The Associated Press, AccuWeather.com, Traffic.com, FlightStats.com and OTOlabs, who developed Tiles for Vail Resorts and Fox Television’s “Family Guy.”

Indicating that the Zumobi team has been working for over a year to make this product a reality, Eric Hertz, CEO at Zumobi, added “we’re very excited to launch the first version of our public Beta today.” He also said in a press release, “Our partners who have created Zumobi Tiles for the initial Beta have delivered an excellent portfolio of news, entertainment, travel content, and more.”
Hertz explained that through an intuitive interface, Zumobi enables users to easily “bounce” in and out of snack-sized bits of the entertainment they want and to stay on top of the information they need throughout the day. In addition, it also offers advertisers a way to connect with consumers through their mobile phones.
“We’re constantly creating new touch points on-air, online and on handsets that deepen our audiences’ engagement with their favorite programming,” said Jeremiah Zinn (News - Alert), senior vice president of digital distribution at MTV Networks.
Zinn also pointed out that the Zumobi’s new platform brings Web 2.0 functionality to wireless devices, and that allows his company to create even more experiences for audiences to stay connected to their favorite music, music news and gaming content.
“The exciting combination of Zumobi’s intuitive interface combined with Traffic.com’s nationwide real-time traffic content gives on-the-go consumers the relevant, valuable, engaging user experience they demand,” said Barry J. Glick, vice president of consumer markets of NAVTEQ (News - Alert), the parent company of Beta partner Traffic.com.
Meara McLaughlin, vice president at Conducive Technology, the makers of FlightStats.com, commented, “The Zumobi platform gives FlightStats.com an exciting new way to connect with travelers on the mobile handset. We are thrilled to be one of the first Zumobi Tiles in such good company with the other founding Tile partners. We hope that users will check our Tile out when they download Zumobi.”
Jim Candor, senior vice President of New Media at AccuWeather.com, said, “We’re always looking for new and better ways to bring people the weather information they crave. Working with innovative companies like Zumobi helps us deliver a user experience that is quicker and more satisfying than ever before.”
“We’re very excited to be developing tile applications for our clients on the Zumobi platform. We believe that by providing branded utility and entertainment as a mobile widget, our clients such as Fox Home Entertainment and Vail Resorts will see higher adoption, deeper engagement and more interaction with their audience,” commented Mitchel Ahern, director of product management at OTOlabs, a permission-marketing platforms company.
Zumobi has also unveiled a beta version of the Zumobi SDK for developers, it is expected to enable developers to create and showcase their own tiles. According to the company, developers can download the SDK from http://dev.Zumobi.com. In addition, developers will also be able to share and upload their Tiles to the Zumobi Gallery beginning in the first quarter of 2008.
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