The Web that knows where you are: interview with Peter Cranstone, 5o9inc

Peter J. Cranstone
Peter J. Cranstone
Peter J. Cranstone is the CEO of 5o9inc, a start-up created in January 2006. He has previously founded three other software companies rooted in network and Internet communications technologies. He shared his vision on the mobile Internet with GPS Business News.

GPS Business News: Mr. Cranstone, your company has been recently featured as one of the finalists of the Tele Atlas LBS Innovators Series, can you give us an insight about 5o9inc technology?
Peter J. Cranstone: We started with the premise that the Web should just know “me” so I don’t have to keep typing the same stuff in over and over again. On a mobile device this is a nightmare. We subscribe to Ericsson’s 0-1-2-3 rule for the perfect mobile user experience.

--0 or no required user behavioral changes
--1 log on, point of entry
--2 sec response time
--3 no more than three clicks away

We realized that to enable Web service providers to extend and optimize their services for mobile users AND get user adoption, we’d have to adhere to these standards and start with new set of assumptions. In particular, the Web can no longer assume users have a keyboard, mouse and big screen. The Web needs to know what the user’s device capabilities are at that moment in time. And to make the content relevant, it should also know where they are and who they are. So getting to content quickly is important, but getting to relevant content is the real objective.

The 5o9™ Context Manager removes the barriers to mobile Web services adoption. Our software provides location, device capabilities and user context to the Web server for use in any Web services application. It reduces data entry and pairs the existing browser and Web server with contextual data to deliver application-like menus. Since everyone knows how to use a browser, adoption is high and support requirements are low. As an added benefit to contextual menus, the entire mobile screen is available for content delivery. Our software is designed to work on any mobile device with Internet connectivity and works over any network (carrier, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max).

While there are many companies delivering location data, and the carriers can deliver limited who, what and where data, privacy and content optimization remain a big concern and restricted both deployment and adoption of certain mobile Web services. With 5o9’s technology, in addition to delivering context data, including live GPS data over the Web, we offer multiple compression schemes to increase the speed of content delivery and the user determines how much of his or her personal data they will share on any given Web transaction. 5o9’s patent pending technology gives Web service providers the option to identify customers on a transactional basis, versus tracking customers and storing every transaction and key stroke – and then figuring out how to secure all that personal data.

5o9 MobileMe Control Panel with Amazon Flexible Payment Service Widget
5o9 MobileMe Control Panel with Amazon Flexible Payment Service Widget
GPS BN: What is your business model and how is the company doing today?
PJC: 5o9 sells software. Our decision not to be a service provider is based upon the issues of privacy and cost. The relationship and use of all personal data is agreed upon by the user and the Web service provider - no customer data flows through a 5o9 server. Our annual license fee model is also in response to the many Web service and content providers who are seeing their margins eroded by the historical transactional revenue sharing model.

We have recently closed our first customer. We expect to formally launch the company next year.

GP BN: Who are your customers and commercial targets?
PJC: Our customers are the Web service providers who want to extend their services to mobile users. Our initial focus is on those Web service providers who are frequented by Smartphone and PDA users, such as business travelers and mobile workforces. As Smartphone adoption increases, our commercial targets will expand to the general consumer-based mobile Web service providers.

Sunday, September 2nd 2007

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