RealTime IT News

Swedish Valentine Messaging Says Where But Not Who

[London, ENGLAND] A new messaging service developed in Sweden lets people send anonymous romantic greetings from their mobile phones, but -- flirtatiously -- tells the recipient the location of the sender.

In fact, the service from the entirely non-pornographic Swedish Blue Factory is called Flirtylizer, and both names surely betray a less-than-perfect understanding of the English language.

The only real snag with Flirtylizer is that you need to know the other person's mobile telephone number, a limitation that definitely restricts its flirting capabilities. However, it seems perfect for Valentine's Day, even though it has arrived at the last minute to capitalize on it.

Soki Choi, chief executive of Blue Factory, said that mobile dating services are very popular in Asia and have the potential to be equally fashionable in Europe.

"What is charming and exciting about Flirtylizer is that while remaining anonymous, the sender's whereabouts in respect to the receiver are revealed by the positioning function," said Soki Choi.

BlueFactory, started by Soki Choi, John Wennerstrom, Per Holmkvist and Linda Samlin in March 2000, has offices in both Sweden and Hong Kong. It is an independent developer of mobile entertainment services based on Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).

"Up to now, most mobile-game developers have focused their attention on the development of male-oriented services. We want to develop mobile services that even girls find fun," observed Soki Choi.

Whether the new service finds a market remains to be seen. It appears to be relatively easy for the recipient of the message to discover the sender's telephone number, simply by sending a reply message to the most likely person and seeing if the system registers a match.

Blue Factory says the service will be tested for a limited period beginning on Valentine's Day, with a proper launch expected later in the spring.