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August 29, 2007
By Cara Sievers
Better late than never. That may be an old axiom, but tardiness generally is considered discourteous and can wear on even the best of relationships. Oops Im Late!, a new mobile phone application, can help busy, and occasionally tardy, mobile workers preserve their business associations by notifying the people with whom they are scheduled to meet all in a hands-free fashion. Users can avoid those awkward Im running late calls and dialing out to multiple parties while driving.
Oops Im Late! was developed by Alex reich & Associates, an independent consulting firm, and is available for purchase on the Oops Im Late! Web site, as well as through Handango and its distributors. The company also is seeking wireless dealers to sell the product.
Alex reich, owner of Alex reich & Associates, says now is a good time for wireless dealers to look into selling Oops Im Late! The product fits well into many wireless dealers customers needs, says reich, noting the application is ideal for enterprises with complex scheduling or for any business with employees that regularly travel to off-site meetings that require communication about ETA. Moreover, as a reputation-saver, the dealer is likely to get positive feelings from customers who feel such a dealer is looking out for their needs.
The software application, which can be used for business or personal matters, runs entirely on the mobile device and relies on inphone GPS capabilities and the users calendar on his/her mobile phone, desktop or the Web to determine if the user is running late.
Oops Im Late! calculates the users ETA by dividing distance by rate, taking into account the current time, GPS location and appointment location. If the user is running late, Oops Im Late! will notify the selected recipients, usually by text message. It even works if the phone is in use.
In routine operation, the user can open the Oops Im Late! application on his or her mobile phone, add or remove attendees, and forget about it.
Oops Im Late! is unique in that it is the first integrated notification system based around calendaring, explains reich. Other notification systems do exist; however, each requires separate re-entry of coordinate data.
Oops Im Late! automatically connects to the Internet to geocode the appointment location using the open-source service, geonames.org. It will solicit additional information from the user if necessary. Once a user has geocoded the location for his or her next appointment, connection to the Internet is no longer necessary and any further queries destined to the same address will skip geocoding. Also, if a user inputs the latitude and longitude coordinates directly, there is no need for geocoding or Web access.
The application also has built-in failsafes to prevent false notifications. No notification is sent if the GPS signal is lost; and there is a 30-second warning before notifications are sent in case the user wants to cancel them. Individuals are notified in the preferred preset manner. The software currently supports SMS text messages, e-mail and phone (professional version only). Air charges may apply based upon each users mobile operator subscriber agreement.
The commission structure for Oops Im Late! is paid once per license and is based on the following volume thresholds:
Number of Licenses
The next major release of Oops Im Late! is scheduled for the final quarter of 2007, and will include IM as a method of notification as well as other enhancements and new features.
The software currently is supported on Windows Mobile phones including the Blackjack, Motorola Q, Palm Treo and HTC models. The Outlook support is based on the Pocket Outlook Object Model built into the Windows Mobile phone. Exchange, Eudora, GoldMine and any calendar applications that work with ActiveSync are compatible with Oops Im Late!
GPS in Oops Im Late! is supported by the Windows Intermediate GPS Driver; as such, it can be used with devices with builtin GPS, via Bluetooth, or another locationbased service that also uses the driver.
Oops Im Late! comes in standard and professional versions. Both versions send notifications via SMS text messaging. The professional version also can send notifications via e-mail or phone a default contact. The standard version is priced at $69.99 and the professional version is priced at $99.99. A free three-day trial also is available.
Licensing is granted per device. Each paid version gives the user a registration key which allows unlimited use of the application for each licensed device. Dealers can distribute the software outright and then obtain registration keys or codes for each licensed device. Commissions depend on the size of distribution (see table above). Pricing is set on a one-time, per-version basis. End-user support is provided via the Web site and e-mail.
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