Palm OS Software Kiosks Coming Soon

PalmSource, Handango and WideRay today announced a partnership to develop in-store Palm OS software kiosks. The system will enable on the spot software purchases delivered over WideRay Infrared terminals.

PalmSource will provide an in-store software solution that combines Handango's software and provisioning technology with WideRay Jacks to create easily deployable beaming kiosks in mobile operator stores. The "Beam-Me-App" program is customizable for each operator to configure software catalogues and ensure compatibility with backend infrastructure.

Stores will be able to customize the kiosks with software from Handango's catalogue of thousands of Palm OS applications. The opportunity to sell software through retail stores where Palm OS handhelds are sold will create new revenue opportunities and offer greater convenience to Palm Powered users.

In stores, users can quickly download full applications, demo versions, ringtones and graphics onto any Palm Powered handheld or smartphone through a beaming kiosk. The system can be tightly integrated into the mobile operators' backend billing infrastructure, and the downloaded applications can be activated via a code sent to the device. Users can pay for applications using a variety of methods, including directly debiting the user's phone bill or via premium SMS, depending on individual operator requirements.

By accentuating the features of Palm OS smartphones, the "Beam-Me-App" program allows the wireless operator to convert more customers to data service plans and increase average revenue per user (ARPU). The "Beam-Me-App" kiosks can also serve as an additional touch point for delivery of product information, customer service materials and promotions, thereby increasing customer satisfaction at the point of purchase and reducing subscriber churn.

"We are delighted to be working with leading content and service providers to enable a true value-added solution to our carrier partners. Palm OS has the world's largest library of mobile software, and we're pleased that this new program will make them even easier to find and install. It will increase the revenue opportunities for both developers and wireless operators," said Albert Chu, vice president of business development for PalmSource.

The solution is available immediately from PalmSource and supports all devices running Palm OS 3.5 and above.

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It's about bloody time!!

mikecane @ 2/19/2003 12:12:57 PM #
They should have done this frigging YEARS ago!! I've always said it's dumb that people have to get on the Net to get software for their PDAs. There should be in-store kiosks where stuff can be bought immediately -- with cash.

Not about bloody time. @ 2/19/2003 12:25:15 PM #
So where do people go when they want software updates, after a hard reset, or if the upgrade their PDA?. Back to the kiosk? I'm not sure I would want to sell my Palm OS software to people who don't have an internet connection from which to install and update software. If your app costs $15 and you get $12 from Handango, how much technical support can you afford to provide.

Perhaps people will be paying for a one-time-only opportunity to install an app rather than a software license.

RE: Not about bloody time.
ChipKerchner @ 2/19/2003 12:34:49 PM #
> If your app costs $15 and you get $12 from Handango, how much technical support can you afford to provide.

Actually you get $10.50. Handango (and PalmGear) take huge pieces.

RE: Not about bloody time.
twizza @ 2/19/2003 12:52:01 PM #
granted i agree that this can work. this is one of those "let make things easy for the non-techie user" kinda deals. i am sure that once one purchases the software that they would be able to redownload it at any one of the kiosks without a hitch. i would be concerned if you werent able to redownload it or had to pay a fee (no more than bus fare) to redownload it. then i could see this not working for anybody.

plus this also opens up the electronic wallet ability of pdas. that is the part that i am personally waiting for.

RE: Not about bloody time.
KRamsauer @ 2/19/2003 1:06:54 PM #
Actually, the only time this would be a problem with a hard reset is if you need to hard reset before you hotsync. No biggie.

Here's something else to consider
gulmatan @ 2/19/2003 1:29:17 PM #
What about programs that require conduits or even programs like Leonardo which have multiple components, PDB/PRC files thar are part of its package?

Sure backing up after a HotSync will put the files into your
Mac or PC but, what about figuring out what files go in the whole pacage you just purchased from the kiosk store?

Matt A.

YES about bloody time!
mikecane @ 2/19/2003 4:40:29 PM #
What carping! Don't you think they will have already thought of such things? I doubt very complex software -- conduits, et al -- cited above -- will be part of the package.

This is a huge step in the right direction. All of you will realize this when you see MICROSOFT copying it in a few months.

Thanks, but no thanks.
mikemusick @ 2/19/2003 5:18:09 PM #
Mike, weren't you at the PalmSource Conference last year and actually experienced downloading software this way? Did you already forget how miserable it was and how much you felt like a geek standing there pointing your Palm at the kiosk for 2-3 minutes while you downloaded the schedule?

It's been tried for a while, and, frankly, unless all applications you sell are 20K it's going to be a waste of time. The IR link is frustratingly slow and is easily interfered with by things like florescent lights.

I *have* been an IR kiosk "customer", and found the entire experience completely unsatisfying. I'd have really been unhappy if I had paid for it... wait... I think I *did*... phooey... :D

RE: Not about bloody time.
simond @ 2/20/2003 7:41:21 AM #
Now if they did bluetooth as well as ir...
RE: Not about bloody time.
JonAcheson @ 2/20/2003 10:22:02 AM #
Going slightly offtopic, $10.50 out of $15.00 seems like a better deal than you're going to get out of the shrinkwrapped retail distribution chain. Retail markup is more like 33% for the middleman then 33% on top of that for the retailer.

Any idea what the markup for the software at one of these kiosks will be?

Jon Acheson

"All opinions posted are my own, and not those of my employers, who are appalled."

RE: Not about bloody time.
mikecane @ 2/20/2003 3:17:44 PM #
No, I wasn't at PS. But I did dl via WideRay at Sony's NYC store and from IR-enabled phone booth ads. And, yes, standing on the street beaming from a booth/kiosk, you do feel like a dolt. But these will be in-store and, hopefully, have a bloody *shelf* where you can just drop the PDA and wait... and wait... and wait... yeah, you know, I forgot about that waiting business (the Sony app was close to 200K compressed!). Bluetooth *would* be better -- so would WiFi. They better offer all three choices!

RE: Not about bloody time.
Rolando @ 2/20/2003 6:29:29 PM #
I think it will be great for people who usually would never buy any PalmOS software. Like every person in my office! None of them has any inclination to look on the web for software. For the most part, if I don't tell them about it, they don't have it.

But, if there was a touch-screen kiosk right there in the store that they could browse through, they might be willing to try a few apps.

Many people are intimidated by the mere idea of installing an app. If this eases them into their first few, they might really start buying. Plus, just because the palm app is beamed over doesn't mean you don't still get a box handed to you at the checkout stand or an automatic email with the links to download the rest when you get home.

Plus, I'm sure you'll end up signing on with Handango while you install the app. From there, you will get some emails that contain links to, web specials, etc.

I think it's a good idea. But it won't effect anybody that reading this... You're not the target, just like you're not the target of the Zire.


RE: Not about bloody time.
mikecane @ 2/20/2003 6:43:09 PM #
Well, that was exactly my bloody point! But there is also a good point to be made about waiting for the bloody beaming to take place! OTOH, huge apps like, say, WordSmith, are already on sale in shrink-wrapped packages.

I'd like to see BT and WiFi added. It'll probably be up to Microsoft to offer that with their kiosks... sheesh.

This is being done!

EZ ZAP, INC @ 2/20/2003 8:39:09 AM #
Check out We have been doing this for a number of months.
RE: This is being done!
EZ ZAP, INC @ 2/20/2003 8:45:41 AM #
Here is the Palminfocenter link to the story about this:



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