During the previous Mobile Monday Boston, Stephen Randall from Locamoda presented their "writing on the wall" product suite: A series of fun interactive games, or interaction sessions where you stand in front of an electronic display and send SMSs to play games or interact.
"Our platform enables any phone to interact with screens connected to out-of-home networks, combining the power and reach of the web with the immediacy of the mobile phone"
One of their coolest applications is Wiffiti (Wireless Graffiti): these are virtual text boards that you can place on a real LCD in, say, a bar, on your site, blog, whatever. people can SMS to your Wiffiti to interact with you and/or others. This is really cool!!! I got an invitation to have one for myself today (Thanks Jayne!) and started using it. setup is easy and the first message was there in 5 minutes. See at the bottom right corner of my blog on this page, this is mine. You can send me a msg by sending @020406 (Space) your-message to 25622. OR, you can scan this code with ConnexTo and fill in your message:
Here's my Wiffiti itself: send me a msg and you'll see it here
Looking a bit closer, I think Stephen and his team made some good decisions with this product. For a start, Stephen was a founder of Symbian: he knows exactly the pain of creating a client application, getting that reach on enough phones/audience (Does phone xy support JSR-123 blah blah?), and then getting it on people's phones. So the waffiti thing doesn't require any client, no installation, no reach issues, none of that. Everyone has SMS, everyone know to use it. If I recall correctly Stephen still has non-gray hair on, and that's probably (in part) why.
Second, its a cool interesting, simple application. its engaging: the minute Stephen pulled it on the screen at the event, people started playing. He needed not say a word. This could go big.
The Economist is writing: "Between double espressos, patrons send text messages to the 50-inch screens...In March one woman received a marriage proposal via the Wiffiti screen at Toscanini's café (ooh...too geeky for me-AR)"
And if games, interaction, promotions aren't enough, why not reduce restaurant wait time?