SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Mobileyes launches in San Francisco

Posted by Admin on January 19, 2009

Earlier this month the Mobileyes service was launched in and around San Francisco under the brand name the NBC traffic-cam1Bay Area Traffic Cam. The service allows users to view up-to-the-second, live traffic videos on their mobile phone. Users can view roadside traffic cameras to avoid snarl ups of traffic.

If you are based in the Bay Area and want to try the service you can download it from the NBC Bay Area website at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/mobile or by calling 877-622-2291. You could also visit 3rd Dimension’s national website at http://www.3Dmobileyes.com.

The new service is supported by Randell Iwasaki, chief deputy director for the California Department of Transportation:

“The more information we can get to the driver, the better. An informed driver is a safe driver.”

At the moment, the Mobileyes service is only available in the US. In addition to the San Francisco market, the service is available in Hartford, Conn.; New York; Los Angeles; Kansas City; Houston; Knoxville; Indianapolis; Detroit; and Washington, D.C.

I got the chance to ask Eric Joseph, COO of 3rd Dimension a few questions about the service and his views on the market.

Can you describe the service in your own words?

ericjoseph1The Mobileyes application from 3rd Dimension is a free and easy way for travelers to plan, in real-time, the most efficient route to their destination. Downloaded onto their mobile device, this “carrier agnostic” service provides an easy to navigate camera list and subsequent video feed of transportation agency cameras that can be viewed immediately, or saved to 10 pre-set keys on any cell phone. While it’s ad-supported, the interactive display advertising is only present as long as it takes the camera to load as the user switches between camera choices.

To download it a user needs to go to the website – http://www.3dmobileyes.com, click the “Download Now” button, and choose the appropriate geographic market/media partner application. The user enters their cell phone number in the box given, and a text message will be sent to the phone, with a link to download the program. When a user clicks on the link, the program auto installs.

Why would a consumer want to sign up to it?

By observing the state of traffic at major highways and intersections in real time, the traveler can quickly make an informed choice as to the fastest, safest and most fuel-efficient route to take by vectoring around traffic snarls.

Why have you targeted mobile phone users?

By providing this service on a mobile medium, we maximize its utility: a passenger in a moving vehicle (or a driver, just before getting into their car or when they are stopped) can update the driver on the real-time traffic conditions so that they may make the best decision on route options.

Could/would my mum use it?

Yes, as long as she drives and is interested in getting where she’s going without idling in traffic jams! The interface is simple and straightforward, and the application universal in its utility.

Does your mum use it?

My mum doesn’t drive any longer, but if she did, she’d brag to all her friends about how efficiently she gets where she’s going!

What do you think is the future of mobile applications?

Seeing what the iPhone App store and Google are doing with paid and free downloads is a pretty solid place to start when it comes to forecasting technology. They do tend to get it right more often than not and the ability to target and customize content to specific users’ preferences is a tremendous advantage for mobile marketers. Even with the inevitable onslaught of steadily improving 3G smartphones and increased connectivity to better WAP sites, there will definitely be a stakeholder position for mobile applications in coming years. In particular, applications that handle video particularly well are likely to be successful.

Have you got anything else in the pipeline?

Traffic and weather are both well-established high search priorities for mobile users. Local news, sports and entertainment will undoubtedly be equally popular. Over 65 percent of cell users access the internet on their device every day. Our goal is to make sure that, at all times, their viewing experience is the best available given the quickly expanding limits of technology and connectivity.

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