iPhone Bump for Retail?
By David Dorf on Jul 22, 2009
A friend just turned me on to the latest iPhone app to garner lots of buzz. Its called Bump. When two people meet and both have the Bump application running, they can "bump" iPhones to exchange contact information. You can see it work in the YouTube video embedded below.
Sounds like near field communications (NFC), but its not. The bump signals the app to send the GPS coordinates to a server over the internet. If two iPhones send data at the same time with close coordinates, a "bump" is assumed. Then iPhone A sends his contact data to the server, and the server forwards it to iPhone B. And B to A as well.
Now let's transfer the concept to retail. Instead of contact information, let's pass coupons. And instead of bumping two iPhones together, let's just walk into a store and shake our iPhone. That signals the application to send GPS coordinates to the server in the sky, and based on the location, coupons for that store are downloaded. Local, on-demand coupons. Awesome.
But wait, there's more. When you get to the register, "bump" the register to transfer your coupons over. Send your credit card information too, because the communications are encrypted. We just need an internet connection, so no special NFC technology is required.
I might be on to something here...