As mobile application companies continue to pump out new applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm, and so on, one company is taking e-commerce or mobi-commerce to a whole new level.
Mobi Express, a small start up in Toronto, Ontario, is developing a mobile application that allows users to pre-order small items (such as coffee and lunches) from chosen establishment before arriving at the actual location.
The way this application works is briefly explained below:
The user can place an order (say a coffee from Tim Horton’s) as they leave their home in the morning to go to work. The application, which works with the handset’s GPS, tracks the movement of the individual and let’s the vendor know when the individual is within a particular range of their chosen establishment. At this time, the application advises the vendor to start preparing the item (coffee in this case), so it is ready for pick up as soon as the customer arrives. All charges related to the transaction are charged to a credit card that the individual registers when they download the application.
So in other words, Mobi Express is trying to take the ‘rush’ out of ‘rush hour lineups’. By pre-ordering, this application allows vendors to better serve their customers (ultimately raising revenues), while saving customers loads of time every year.
As per the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association, the average wait time in North America at any given service establishment like Star Bucks or McDonald’s is over 4 minutes! That’s a lot of time spent in lineups versus doing something productive!
Mobi Express’s website (http://www.meetmobi.net) will be up soon. In the meanwhile, the team is working diligently to have the prototype up and running by this summer.
The big question is, will this trend catch on? Will people actually use this application? Personally, I can tell you that while I was waiting in line at Wendy’s today, I thought of this application and wish it already existed…
Order Your Morning Coffee From Your Phone
Rainer Takahashi — March 26, 2009 — Tech