One to watch is a series that profiles young technology companies. It is not an endorsement, but an exploration of the firm’s potential.
Mobile phones aren’t just for chatting anymore, and Appligo Inc. is banking
The young Toronto-based company produces personal productivity applications for mobile phones, pushing out the boundaries of wireless use beyond gaming, and rolling the functions of a desktop and PDA onto your cell.
Appligo offers a range of products that are geared to event organizers, Portal and Internet service providers, television and radio, and the mobile consumer. Its applications include Active Audience, an American Idol-style organizer-audience interaction application, and Get Groceries, a list/inventory and recipe file application). These are the types of products that carriers have been asking for within a relatively untapped market, says Gary Toste, vice-president products with Appligo.
“In the wireless market today there are a lot of new mobile devices coming, many supporting new technology such as J2ME (Java 2 Mobile Edition), but the majority of what’s being provided is games. That’s a big market, but outside of that the mobile productivity is something that’s lacking right now,” says Toste.
Brightspark Ventures provided the startup with its funding last December. Brightspark’s founders Mark Skapinker and Tony Davis, both formerly involved with Delrina Corp., the creator of WinFax, started Appligo as a brand new company using employees from within the Brightspark family of companies.
Toste says that that Brightspark saw an opportunity to not only produce consumer-focused applications, but to sell them through a carrier, as opposed to selling directly into enterprises and organizations. So far the company uses AT&T Wireless as its American partner.
Appligo allows users to work with their applications via various channels: J2ME, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), the Web, SMS (short message service), and voice. The benefit of the J2ME technology over WAP-based is the fact that it’s a resident application, explains Toste.
“With WAP you’re constantly accessing the network, so there’s no concept of being offline. With J2ME we allow our users to reach their e-mail, get their contacts and their calendar information directly on their phone, and if they are out of range, they can still read their e-mails, and create draft messages,” says Toste. “In essence, we’ve taken a paradigm that’s very popular on the desktop and tried to bring it to the phone.”
Simon Keogh is the director of applications with Tira Wireless, an Appligo partner that exclusively publishes Apollo Mail, Vote Vibe, and Get Groceries. He believes mobile users