Re: Wireless ecommerce

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Fri May 26 2000 - 07:51:33 MDT

On Thu, May 25, 2000 at 07:00:45PM -0700, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> A full Web store on a cell phone does not make sense for multiple
> reasons, primarily the limited display capabilities. But, for the most
> part, it looks like people are still identifying uses for this; there
> does not (yet) appear to be a killer app for wireless ecommerce.

The killer application is not yet available to the m-commerce providers.

The killer application is the cell you're in. The telco knows it (in order
to route your calls), but they're not disclosing it. If they disclose it
(with or without the mobile user's permission) then any application that
can be bolted on top of a GIS suddenly becomes a potential ASP-delivered

In some cases, these will synergise with existing technologies. For example,
a bus company might use wireless cellphones to boost its sales of bus
tickets by providing a query tool. You phone it and say "I want to get to
(x,y) as fast as possible". It checks the bus routes, checks its list of
where each bus is, and figures out the fastest possible route for you from
(a) to (b), possibly even reserving a seat for you in accordance with
your customer preferences profile on their service. Maybe they even tell
the bus driver to pull over and let you hop on board somewhere between
stops -- after all, they know you're a paying customer (as you paid for
your journey by phone!).

Take it a step further and you can combine this with taxi, train, and
air booking systems to provide ultra-streamlined public transport: punch
in your destination and it will get you there as fast as possible, by
any means necessary.

-- Charlie

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