Damon Cooper's BLOG
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March 24, 2005
SMS Taxis, Tickets and the Coming End of On-Hold Muzak
Still surprising to many in North America, but in the world of mobile, true innovation really is happening elsewhere (sometimes elswhere first).

I think we should all pay attention, as mobile devices, mobile apps (of all kinds) and SMS usage is on a sharp up-ramp in the US (we've only been able to send text messages across all the major carriers for about 1.5 years in the US!)

If you're looking for interesting uses of SMS coming to the US in the next 2-3 years, look overseas today. SMS Banking and other everyday uses like credit card fraud notification/verifications, etc, etc are coming, and ColdFusion will be right there as the easiest way to build and deploy these apps.

Without a doubt, these apps aren't necessarily sexy, and they're certainly not Rich Internet Apps, and they DO have some severe limitations (160 char message lengths, etc), but you CAN interact realtime with masses of people securely today, regardless of carrier, platform, device or location, and all you need is one phone number (theirs or your short code) for one side or the other to initiate an interactive conversation (push or pull).

You also have the mobile users' phone number when they send a text message, and you can use that to verify identity, call them to verify or clarify info, or respond with a confirmation text message when they initiate the text conversation).

One simple and innovative use of SMS in China: SMS Taxi Service ...(SMS pizza, movie tickets and restaurant reservations anyone??)

How about getting a train ticket with your phone? How about an airline ticket or other tickets?

Never mind the possibilities available when un-manned mobile SMS devices can be used and easily call home office for help (vandalized billboard or bank machine, a soda vending machine that needs to be refilled, an automobile that needs service), or remote status of remote devices can be autonomously obtained (head office polls all status gas pumps for their current readings and optimizes delivery routes without station intervention)...

Everywhere you look, you can see where this technology can be pout to use to streamline processes, improve customer service and make life better for millions.

The fact that you can mobile SMS-enable your business or organization today with just a few minutes/hours/days of effort with Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 and the included SMS Event Gateway is a key breakthrough, since until now, these apps have been very hard to build and deploy in a robust, reliable, tested fashion that met carrier-level requirements for behavior, reliability and scalability.

I'm particularly hopeful this will all lead to the eventual marginalizing of "On Hold" Muzak, "Your call is important to us..." messages and endless transfers among customer service & support reps where I can easily get things done in seconds myself using just my mobile phone.

Damon

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