3D World Drives Minute Plans, Mobile Purchases

April 14, 2008
I recently met with Gemini Mobile Technologies at CTIA. Gemini Mobile recently made headlines with the release of its HyperScale Software Development Kit, which is designed to enable system integrators and partners worldwide to harness the power of Gemini’s powerful HyperScale technology to create products for a variety of industries.
Gemini’s HyperScale is the core technology behind its two products: a software messaging platform, HyperScale Messaging Center, and a community platform, eXplo.
While at CTIA, I got a thorough demo of S! Town, a 3D mobile community powered by eXplo. Based on Gemini’s HyperScale technology, eXplo unifies media, content and communication into a single platform offering end users a unique 3D mobile experience.

The service went live in Japan two years ago, with Softbank Mobile, and as of November it had 250,000 subscribers.
My first thought was, ok, so this is like Webkinz for mobile phones. Do a quarter of a million Japanese children really have their own mobile phones, with unlimited data plans?
Turns out the target demographic is not kids at all, but rather women from 20–29 years of age, a group that makes up 41% of the user base. And the next largest user group? 30 to 39 year-olds. Go figure.
The application comes bundled with a mobile phone, and helps drive the purchase of unlimited data plans from the carriers. Ok, now it started making more sense. Furthermore, the 3D world is filled with advertising, whereby users click on ad, to visit an advertiser’s WAP site, as well as stores, where users can preview videos or songs and download them with minimal clicks to purchase. So a key benefit is enabling content discovery; bringing it closer to consumer, and making it easier to close the sale.
So what seemed at first to be a game, is really an innovative way to enable users to more easily purchase items via their mobile phone while driving minutes and supplementary revenue to the carrier.
Webkinz indeed!

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