RealTime IT News

'Beam-Me-App' Scotty

Three handheld device players Wednesday announced a deal that will let users download full applications, demo versions, ringtones and graphics onto any Palm Powered handheld or smartphone through a beaming kiosk.

Dubbed the "Beam-Me-App" program, the partnership is the brainchild of Santa Clara, Calif.-based PalmSource , Hurst, Texas-based Handango and San Francisco-based WideRay. As part of the agreement, PalmSource will provide the in-store software; Handango is responsible for related software and provisioning technology; and WideRay will build the beaming kiosks.

The program is being marketed to mobile operator stores like a Best Buy , Circuit City or other locations where Palm OS smartphones and handhelds are sold.

The companies say the system could be incorporated into the mobile operators' backend billing system, and the downloaded applications could be activated via a code sent to the device. Users can pay for applications using a variety of methods, including directly debiting the user's phone bill or through premium SMS, depending on individual operator requirements.

The package deal is currently available from PalmSource and supports all devices running Palm OS 3.5 and above.

"Palm OS has the world's largest library of mobile software, and we're pleased that this new program will make them even easier to find and install. It will increase the revenue opportunities for both developers and wireless operators," said PalmSource vice president of business development Albert Chu.

The companies say the "Beam-Me-App" program also lets wireless operators convert more customers to data service plans. The kiosks are also being toted as an additional touch point for delivery of product information, customer service materials and promotions.

"Our platform enables these carriers to create new revenue streams through Palm OS software sales while avoiding stocking costly inventory and managing a complex IT buildout," WideRay CEO Saul Kato said in a statement.