Wireless Watch for August 12, 2004

Tokyo Company Buys Vindigo and Zingy

Japanese company For-Side has acquired two U.S.-based mobile content players. Vindigo, a provider of PDA city guides and a number of phone apps, and Zingy, a distributor of ringtones and other mobile content, were both scooped up recently by the Tokyo-based digital content provider.

Neither company elaborated on the terms of the deal, though Zingy did say its team would remain intact and the company would be operationally independent of its new parent.

News of the acquisitions was first reported on paidContent.org.

Text-2-Screen App Lets Concert-Goers Do Just That

Concert-goers at Chicago’s Tweeter Center are now using their mobiles to send messages to a large screen during the downtime before and between acts. The phenomenon is enabled by a new relationship between the Tweeter Center and Vibes Media, a provider of interactive SMS marketing programs.

Vibes’ Text-2-Screen platform adds interactivity to concert events by receiving text messages from individuals’ cell phones and displaying the messages in real time onto a large on-stage screen. During a recent show, approximately 2,500 fans sent 5,354 text-to-screen messages in 25 minutes, Vibes said.

“Even if only a percentage of the audience sends messages, 100 percent of them see the screen and end up interacting with the brand. It’s the perfect means to target the concerts goers, college students or other hard-to-reach demographics,” said Alex Campbell, CEO of Vibes Media.

Report: Malaysian Council Bans Text-and-Win Promos

The National Fatwa Council in Malaysia has ruled that Islamic law prohibits Muslims from taking part in SMS-based text-and-win promotions, according to an article on the Web site of Malaysian newspaper The Star.

The Web site reported that the council of Islamic scholars consider the wildly popular sweepstakes campaigns to be a form of gambling, and are therefore “haram,” which means forbidden.

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