The Xconomy Mobile Innovation Showcase

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ROAM Data LogoROAM Data

ROAM delivers valuable business and commerce applications to mobile professionals’ own cell phones, as-a-service, regardless of what device, or which carrier, or payment processor they use—so they can leverage mobile to sell more, with less effort. ROAM is in the unique position of combining powerful technology to extend Business functionalities like Order Entry, Inventory lookup, CRM and much more, with a true payment gateway that allows convenient transactions, all done as a fully hosted service. ROAM has launched its services to the direct sales industry (think Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Amway, etc.) as well as to merchants of all kinds who need a convenient and cost effective way to accept credit cards wherever they go. What differentiates ROAM as the only mobile application service provider with full payment gateway capabilities comes down to these 4 areas:

1. Unlike traditional client server applications which has to be built and deployed one application at a time for each specific device platform, ROAM’s patent pending technology allows rich and secure applications to be written once, and run seamlessly across various mobile devices (iPhones, Android, WinMobile, Blackberries, J2ME, Brew, etc.), as well as PCs.

2. Unlike mobile browser based solutions, ROAM is designed for ease of use and high security; payments are fully built in; offline capabilities allow transactions while out of coverage; and interaction is supported with peripherals for voice-to-text and card-swipe accessories for rich usable applications. Even alerts and promotions can be pushed to mobile users for one-to-one marketing and commerce.

3. Unlike embedded or mobile device development tools, ROAM’s platform and development tool require no device programming experience. They abstract complex features like security, payments, voice-to-text, etc. to allow entry level programmers to easily build and quickly deploy all sorts of applications for any device ROAM supports. Extending business and commerce functionalities is very straightforward.

4. Unlike tools providers or systems integrators who help develop applications but expect enterprises to service their own users, ROAM provides full end-to-end services to manage application access rights, versioning, and provisioning, as well as help end-users manage their entire mobile experience, from application download, to reporting, training, support, and more.

Sample screenshots:

ROAM Data 1ROAM Data 2ROAM Data 3

Company video:

Skyhook Wireless LogoSkyhook Wireless
Boston, MA

Skyhook’s hybrid positioning system (XPS) is a software-only location solution that allows any mobile device with Wi-Fi, GPS, or a cellular radio to determine its position with an accuracy of 10 to 20 meters. Unlike other hybrid location solutions, XPS uses land-based Wi-Fi access points, GPS satellites, and cellular towers to determine location information. The XPS platform provides a fast, accurate and reliable location source to mobile applications and services by leveraging the strengths of each underlying position technology. Skyhook’s positioning technology is built into the Apple iPhone 3G, the Eye-Fi wireless camera memory card, the Geode location plugin for the Firefox browser, Skyhook’s own location-enabled plug-in, Loki, and many other systems. Flash demo here.

The following image compares location-finding precision on the iPhone without Skyhook’s technology (left) and with Skyhook (right):

Location finding on the iPhone with and without Skyhook's WPS technology

Xconomy coverage: Steve Jobs Sprinkles a Bit of Magic Apple Dust on Boston’s Skyhook, 1/17/08

Where LogouLocate
Boston, MA

WHERE™ is the award-winning location-based services application from uLocate Communications that connects people to the world around them. WHERE allows consumers to quickly launch a mobile experience that puts the people, places and things they look for at their fingertips. Local content available through WHERE includes everything from the weather, news, and restaurant reviews, to the closest coffee shop, cheapest gas, traffic updates, movie show times and more. WHERE also enables brands and advertisers to reach a local audience. WHERE has achieved widespread distribution through partnerships with leading carriers such as AT&T and Sprint and handset manufacturers such as Apple, RIM and Nokia.

Sample screenshots:

Where Weather on the Blackberry StormWhere on the Apple iPhoneWhere on the Blackberry Bold

Company video:

Xconomy coverage: Where Do You Want to Go Today? uLocate Can Help You Decide, 11/02/07

Vlingo LogoVlingo
Cambridge, MA

Vlingo builds voice-powered user interfaces that unlock access to mobile phone wireless data services. Vlingo for iPhone and vlingo for BlackBerry smartphones allow users to speak into their device and have many popular applications carry out their respective functions. This includes dialing your phone, sending an email or SMS, creating and saving a memo or task, opening a web browser and performing a web search, composing a social-networking status message, and more. With vlingo, instead of triple-tapping on a small keyboard, users can now simply speak to their mobile phones to enter search terms, addresses or any other text.

Download Vlingo for Blackberry here and Vlingo for iPhone here.

Dictating e-mail on a Blackberry device using VlingoVoice dialing on the iPhone using Vlingo

Xconomy coverage: Vlingo’s Latest App Gives Blackberrying Thumbs a Rest, 6/25/08

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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