DemoMobile to Showcase SMS

DemoMobile show will highlight wireless tools that ease management and messaging.

Applications that promote next-generation wireless services and tools that will ease the management of wireless networks are making their way to market.

At the DemoMobile show next week in La Jolla, Calif., manufacturers and developers will show new and forthcoming products that focus on SMS (Short Message Service) text technology, something that most carriers offer but that has been slow to catch on in the United States.

PocketThis Inc. will introduce two applications that combine SMS with the ability to clip information and save it on a mobile device, according to officials at the Oakland, Calif., company.

PocketThis takes information from the Web or a PC and sends it to a customers phone with a series of one-touch options built in to the application, such as send to a friend, call to buy tickets, get insurance quote or check flight status. Officials said the prospect of multimedia messaging would enable more complex transactions.

Also at the show, M-Qube Inc., of Boston, will introduce a platform for advertisers to launch marketing campaigns via SMS, with a focus on North American customers, according to a company spokeswoman.

Application developers who use SMS in the United States say customers like it but that they often dont know their phones have the capability because carriers dont promote it.

"We educate them, mostly," said Christopher Bell, chief technology officer of People2People Group, a Boston company whose services include sending personal ad matches through SMS. "We explain that we can give them fast notification by directly messaging to their phones. Its about the value to them—not the technology."

Still, it could be some time before American corporate users warm to SMS.

"In Europe, the demand is extremely high," said Nancy Benovich Gilby, CEO of PocketThis.

"Theyre always looking for additional uses for SMS. What we found in talking to corporations here is that theyre interested in having mobile data, but besides having mobile Internet access and e-mail access, it isnt crucial."