With a little over a week until SXSW begins in Austin, Texas, our inboxes have been hemorrhaging with seemingly every startup under the sun attempting to launch something in time for the festival. Many of these are app-related. And specifically, many are iPhone app-related, which means they need extra time to get approved by Apple. And that means getting things out there this week, just in case. And so it begins.
Today, the location-based service Loopt is launching a new feature which will definitely entice users to check out the app at SXSW: Push Deals.
Yes, the Loopt Android and iPhone apps will now be able to send you deals in realtime based on your location by way of push notifications. This means that if you’re walking by a restaurant and it’s a slow night, they can hit a button to send out a notification to give you a deal to come in. This works on a network like Loopt (as opposed to Foursquare) because the app uses background location to keep track of you.
Obviously, all of these push settings can be controlled by the user in the app, so you’re not getting spammed by deals as you walk around a city. You’ll be able to see the deals that you want, founder Sam Altman says.
And the first test of the system will be at SXSW with some pretty killer deals — Loopt will be giving away over $50,000 worth of merchandise to those using the app in Austin. What kinds of stuff? This kind:
- TiVo is giving away TiVo premiere packages
- Microsoft is giving away Kinects
- Jawbone is doing Jamboxes
- Southwest is giving away free roundtrip tickets
- Altec Lansing is giving away Mix Boomboxes
- Yurbuds is doing Ironman Yurbuds
- Tony Hsieh and Guy Kawasaki are giving away signed books
- And a lot more from people like Fox, Gilt City, OkCupid, and more
“These will all be ‘flash deals’–users get a message with the location at the same time if they’re near the rewards wagon, and there are limited supplies,” Altman says. He also notes that there’s no limit on how often you can win — you just have to be first to get to the wagon mentioned in the message.
Once SXSW is over, Loopt will begin rolling these Push Deals out to select cities.