Wireless Watch for January 23, 2004

New SMS-Guided Reality Show

New FX Networks reality show, “Todd TV,” will incorporate two texting applications that give cellphone-wielding audience members control of the action. The features, courtesy of Enpocket, will be available only to T-Mobile subscribers, the show’s official wireless sponsor.

The first audience interaction tool, Live Direction, allows the production crew to text a question to T-Mobile subscribers. Questions ask the audience for an immediate decision that will impact on Todd’s day-to-day life. Shortly after sending a question, the crew receives instant poll results. Todd then proceeds according to the audience’s wishes.

“Text messaging is not used on “Todd TV” as an add-on. It is a key driver of the show,” said Elizabeth Sherman, VP of new media for Endemol USA, the program’s producer.

Enpocket will also provide a service wherein T-Mobile subscribers who opt-in also receive text messages from Todd himself, synchronized to the TV show.

Enpocket Names a VP of Sales

In other Enpocket news, the mobile marketing firm recently tapped former Bluestreak exec Paul Ruck as its new VP of sales. At Bluestreak, Ruck was executive director of sales. Earlier, he served stints as VP of sales at Engage and group advertising director at Miller Freeman. Enpocket said Ruck’s hire would facilitate the company’s expansion into the U.S. market.

Video Phones Connect in China

Hutchison Whampoa subsidiary 3 Hong Kong launched 3G wireless phone service in Hong Kong Tuesday.

Originally planned for a June rollout, officials mulled a December 2003 launch of the Wideband-Code Division Multiple Access phone service, which delivers advanced wireless services including video-conferencing, movies and video news feeds, before announcing the late-January rollout. For marketers, the service could result in the addition of video to the palette of tools available to create mobile ads.

The wireless phone company will offer 19 channels of video content, from financial and breaking news to music videos and movie trailers.

Hutchison Whampoa wants to see Chinese wireless videophone interest at levels similar to those in Japan. NTT, Japan’s largest telecommunications provider, has busily built out its 3G network to accommodate the popularity of its Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access (FOMA) videophones.

by Jim Wagner, originally published on InternetNews.com. Read entire story here.

Honda Sponsors Adventure Channel on AvantGo

Mobile content service AvantGo has launched a “Pocket Adventure Guide” channel with information about U.S. ski resorts and mountain bike trails. Sponsored by Honda’s CR-V, the new content offering includes snow reports from Snocountry.org and biking updates from Gorp.com. PDA and cell phone owners can opt-in to receive articles, tips, current conditions and picks for outdoor destinations.

“For our sponsor Honda, the channel provides an opportunity to interact with a registered
user base of more than 10 million active, tech-savvy professionals and an ideal venue for promoting their popular CR-V,” said James Ryan, editorial director at AvantGo, a service of iAnywhere.

Honda said it’s been pleased with results of its past AvantGo campaigns.

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