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Software, Services for Smarter Cell Phones

Techstination feature for Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Software for smarter mobile phones. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. If you've purchased a new cell phone lately, chances are it can do all kinds of neat new things like take pictures or play music. Vindigo Studios, which initially sold software for Palm and PocketPC devices, hopes new phones will mean new customers…for its growing variety of services. Founder and CEO Jason Devitt…

"Well we're best known still for our first application which was a city guide for mobile devices…starting with PDAs and now for phones. Some of the other things we do now…we've launched a range of applications both under our own brand and in conjunction with partners. Our best known partner is probably MapQuest. You can download MapQuest through Verizon or Sprint or AT&T and get up to the minute maps and driving directions."

In the city guides, Vindigo gives subscribers walking directions to restaurants, theatres, shops and such. If you prefer your entertainment in the family room…Vindigo now offers what it calls the Couch Potato Movie Rental Guide. The idea, says Devitt, is to help you out when you're standing in a video rental store wondering which movies are worthwhile…

"We came up with the idea of let's do a simple application that will allow consumers to browse through a whole catalog of movies and yes, get independent reviews about whether there is good or not…but also get suggestions."

The content partner is Muse…and the service is being sold by Verizon Wireless for about three dollars a month. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.