Poynt Patent Points to Mobile Discovery (Say That 3 Times Fast)
We’ve seen a clear movement from pull-based mobile search to push-based mobile content discovery. Where recently went down this road; mobile discovery engine Aloqa was acquired by Motorola earlier this year; and Foursquare and its ilk continue to evolve in this direction.
To add to this, Google’s Marissa Mayer revealed at Le Web last month that “contextual discovery” would become a defining principle for many Google products going forward — especially in mobile. These and more examples are discussed in our 2011 predictions document publishing this week.
Today leading mobile local application Poynt has bolstered its arsenal to innovate along these lines with a new patent. It’s the leading mobile local search tool on BlackBerry and it continues to broaden to new platforms and local content categories. It’s long had elements of discovery but the new patent arms it to do more.
Or at least it protects its proprietary technology in this area. There have been a number of LBS related patents awarded over the past year including big ones from Apple and Facebook. Some of these are very broad (maybe too broad). I’ll leave it to the lawyers to sort that out.
As for Poynt’s new patent, the technology is built around pushing content based on location (geofence), context and behavior. I had the chance yesterday to speak with Poynt CEO Andrew Osis, who characterized it as a way to better track and utilize these points of relevance to bring together buyer and seller.
“It’s about what you’ve been doing and what you’re looking for,” says Osis. “We can push something that’s contextually relevant based on what the user’s behavior has been, whether that’s stated behavior or an opt in or just looking at all of the transactions they’ve done on our service.”
This includes deals, offers and promotions which continue to gain awareness and adoption in the marketplace. Below are mockups of what the company hopes to develop with this technology and more detail and legalese are included in the press release.
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Kind of cool, kind of eerie. Does it cross the line of privacy (I’m sure there is an opt-in clause but still…) This is the kind of thing that gets privacy pundits fired up.
I know the LBS app, Where, recently got awarded a pretty broad geofencing patent too. It’ll be interesting to see some of these similar geofencing patents duke it out in court. There just seems to be so many overlap in this area regarding patents and prior art that it’s just going to get messy.