Yesterday Fujitsu presented [JP] Spotcast, a new transmission system that enables customers inside stores to receive up-to-date shopping information on their cell phones.
The technology only works if shoppers own handsets equipped with 1-Seg digital TV tuners, which are becoming ubiquitous in Japan (there are currently 33 million of these handsets in circulation). If he or she is interested in a certain store or a product, a transmitter sends the information (product descriptions, discounts, relevant URLs) to the person’s cell phone.
Fujitsu uses weak radio signals for the transmission, employing its proprietary FENICSII network technology [JP]. The maximum distance between a shopper and the transmitter is 2 meters.
Fujitsu is selling the transmitter for $2,700, which sounds pretty affordable. As Spotcast is not limited to transmitting product information, the company hopes that museums, movie theaters and restaurants will show interest in the technology as well. Fujitsu aims at raking in $28 million in sales by 2010.