Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Proximity Content Distribution: Bluepulse
This first part in a series of 3 starts with the Auzzie company Bluepulse. From the outset, let's state, that Bluepulse charges users (ie... clients) to access their services. However, I'm not here to discuss their busines plan -- I just got that out of the way. Now, let's look at what they're doing.
Like most companies, in order to put their technology through the real world squeezer, Bluepulse has started a live pilot to test their technology. Unfortunately, the link to the news article (from their site) is broken, but I recall that it took place at the Broadway Shopping Centre in Sydney (to be precise). I also remember they spent over 100,000 dollars (not sure if it was US or Australian, I'm guessing the latter ... 1 USD = 1.30 AUD) to juice up this mall, not really your ma and pa store's solution, but it seems to offer some goodies.
For example, with Bluepulse, they state that their system can navigate you -- step-by-step -- to landmarks, stores, etc... So, you want to know where the hell Micky Dees is, you just select that info from the directory (I guess), and based on your position (which access point you're connected to), it'll tell you which way to go ... pretty cool stuff IMO. Additionally, they have an IM function so you can IM people on the same network (remember, this is all free via Bluetooth), and you can get news about sales, etc.... all relevant to your location. This is all done with their "SPacial Object Technology" (SPOT).
So, no standing in line to get stuff via Infrared ... you get everything wirelessly via Bluetooth (and or a GSM solution I think -- read on) and it's all location based. Sounds cool to me ...
However, I think unlike a "true" (whatever that means) proximity server, it utilizes wireless carriers to get non-Bluetooth phones involved in the mix, although I'm not sure (as they don't directly say), but phones that generally don't allow Java technology to access the Bluetooth radio (no JSR-82 stack, for the developers out there) are on their list, I'm guessing they're doing something via the carriers. This may also explain why they charge 1 dollar a day (or 5 per month) to use their service (but again, speculation). However, it's not much -- and if it works as they say it does, and you can get a coupon that saves you some chips (that's money for the non-ghetto folks out there), then it's probably still worth it (They better have a lot of content, games, etc... if you're gonna make'em pay, though).
Whatever the case, the Southern Hemisphere has its player, and unless there are others I don't know about, keep an eye on these guys ... my only fear is that getting a ROI on their hardware setup/installation is gonna be hard ... but, I hope they do it.
No word on whether or not third-parties can write applications for their system, or how admin is done on it ... if anybody learns more about Bluepulse (you can read many posts about it in their forums), drop me a line. Ooh, and check out the Bluepulse Demo...
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