Kanakaris Wireless Unveils Streaming Video Ads for PDAs

Mobile streaming technology firm Kanakaris Wireless Monday took the wraps off a new technology that allows for streaming, interactive video ads to be delivered to PDAs running Microsoft’s PocketPC operating system.

Newport Beach, Calif.-based Kanakaris Wireless already streams what it says is near-cinema-quality movies to PocketPCs through its CinemaPop.com Web site, but said Monday that it now has plans to enhance that content with dynamically inserted interactive spots.

“We are now able to insert video spots anywhere in a stream that we would like to. Beginning, end, even an intermission is possible,” said Kanakaris Wireless technical manager Robert Wood.

The technology, which the company calls Embedded Electronic Commerce, makes the company the first to stream dynamically inserted ads to PocketPC devices.

Alex Kanakaris, the company’s chairman and chief executive, said another advantage of the technology is that it can stream the same creatives to multiple media.

“The name of the game is delivery — [the technology] can deliver to everything, from PocketPCs, to laptop PCs, to desktop PCs, to TVs,” Kanakaris said. He added that the company plans to increase user targeting on the CinemaPop site as advertisers come on board, ideally serving ads based on the genre of movie being viewed.

The company plans to kick off the technology this week on CinemaPop.com, by delivering 30-second spots for e-commerce company eConnect before viewings of the 1979 feature-length movie “An American Christmas Carol.” When clicked, the ads take users to a Web page where they can register for more information or make a purchase.

The technology, however, remains fairly limited in terms of distribution: CinemaPop claims about 18 million monthly users, but that figure includes both Web and wireless users. And the main streaming video application — Microsoft Windows Media Player for PocketPC — is currently only available for the Compaq iPAQ PDA. (The company wouldn’t comment on whether it has plans to make its product compatible with the other, more popular PDA platform, PalmOS.)

But Kanakaris said he sees Monday’s announcement as part of something larger. Following the technology’s premiere, Kanakaris said the company would be adding streaming video ads to additional content throughout its Web sites, including other movies on CinemaPop.com and on CinemaniaNetwork. And in addition to hopefully bolstering ad revenue at its own Web sites, Kanakaris said the company plans to market the technology behind Embedded Electronic Commerce as a business-to-business offering.

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