Nokia unveiled a platform that supports short-range transmissions of marketing offers and service alerts to mobile phones.
Called Nokia Local Marketing, the system is based on “point servers” that use Bluetooth (define) and other close-range radio technologies to convey a message when a person walks by a service module.
Nokia suggested ideal applications include the quick transfer of restaurant specials and menus, retail offers, transit schedules, and news headlines. Offers and alerts are targeted according to predefined user preferences, but the company did not immediately make clear how that would be implemented. Nokia may intend that service alerts such as train schedules be the main draw for consumers, who will then opt in to receive offers from advertisers. The company did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
In a joint venture, Nokia and client Coca-Cola will demonstrate the service in action at the 3GSM conference in Cannes next week. Interested attendees can use it to get Coke coupons, video clips, and wallpaper. The platform will be made commercially available in the third quarter of 2005.
“The Nokia Local Marketing Solution brings relevant services to consumers at the right time, and in the right place,” said Sakari Kotola, director of Nokia Ventures, in a statement. “This is focused marketing, and it all happens on the consumer’s own terms.”
The platform does not deliver messages to a phone’s inbox. Rather, it works by routing messages into separate folders containing “service bookmarks” and “coupons.” These can be perused at the handset owner’s leisure.
The service will be offered through operators and service providers and will require the installation of Nokia’s client software on consumers’ handsets. Messages are transmitted when a capable phone passes any of Nokia’s service points.