bluepulse – the write once, play anywhere mobile platform.

bluepulse logobluepulse, a product of Bluepulse Pty. Ltd in Sydney, Australia may just be the first company to have “cracked the code” to one of the single most significant and confounding problems faced by mobile developers, carriers, handset manufacturers and most significantly end-users.

The company has developed a proprietary technology platform called OADP (Open Application Delivery Platform) which when combined with their SPOT (Small Portable Object Technology), the company claims (and my experience so far as well as that of a number of people besides myself) confirm that their bold claim, that they’ve overcome the barriers of
* compatibility
* connectivity
* billing
* distribution

In the real world this means that regardless of phone or carrier, you can download their bluepulse software platform, install a few widgets that are available either free, can be developed by the end user or professional developers or purchased, and in just a few moments experience a substantially similar experience as any other user on any other phone and any other network.

I previously blogged about bluepulse over at my other blog, MobileCrunch where I suggested that we may be seeing the first giant application success of Mobile 2.0. Let me go one further. If what I’ve experienced and what’s been reported to me bears out to be true over some time, what we’re really seeing is the kind of essential technology development that will make Mobile 2.0 possible! Bold words to be sure, but until the barriers come down and users everywhere can have a common experience regardless of where they are or what phone or carrier they have we’ll never see the sort of mass adoption and use that we enjoy with the PC.

In fact, this is a topic that I think bears much greater analysis and discussion; the disparity in sameness that is a huge barrier to global adoption. As much as the IEEE and other standards bodies spend bickering over standardization, why is it that as much as I know about phones, I have to poke around like a newbie every time someone hands me a phone I’ve never seen before? You’d think with the great reduction in number of entry methods on a typical phone (a keypad vs. a keyboard) it would be simple enough to arrive at some basic standards that hold true no matter what the phone.

Think about this for a moment. When you log on to a PC there are some basic steps that are always the same no matter what. You log in, either click a desktop shortcut or the “start” button on your taskbar and from there you activate programs and go about your business. With a phone about the only standards are that you dial numbers and hit send. For mobile data the rules go out the window. This is why bluepulse excites me so much. I put it on several phones from the high end Motorola A1000 smartphone to the Nokia N90 to the Nokia 6820 with its brilliant (but tiny) screen. Although the display real estate is really different the display itself and the operation of the program and the widgets I’ve installed.

Although not all the widgets are free there are enough that you can get a real feel for the application, particularly since it includes a chat client that consolidates AIM, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ into one interface (think Meebo for phones as Mike Arrington at TechCrunch put it).

The one complaint I have relates to pricing of the widgets that are not free. Fees are billed in credits which you can buy with a credit card or (if you’re in Australia) via SMS. The problem is that it’s a little confusing keeping track of what you’re really being charged. If I buy 2000 credits, which is apparently the smallest increment I can buy (and which costs $25) and a widget is 8 credits a day how many days will it take to use up my credits? Of course the answer is 2000/8 which equals 250 (days), but I would suggest that a simple conversion is done that provides end users with some additional information to include cost per credit in your local currency ($25/2000 = $ 0.125 per widget) and your daily spend is calculated based upon the total pulse credits required for your widgets times whatever your cost per pulse credit happens to be. In other words, for US a credit is one and a quarter cents so 8 credits equal 10 cents. Thus, if my daily spend is 8 credits, I’m spending 10 cents per day. I think making this all transparent would be very useful as people gain a lot of comfort from seeing that what they’re buying is only a few pennies. Clarity brings confidence and confidence is what supports purchases.

Anyway, although I’d blogged this before, I felt that this was something too important to overlook and since I don’t know which Mobhappy readers also check out MobileCrunch, I though it would be a good idea to post this here too. I’d deeply appreciate feedback from readers on this too. If you’ve tried bluepulse could you please comment your experience along with your carrier and your phone? I’m trying to get an idea of just how far this “universal compatibility extends. Also, do tell what widgets you’ve tried especially if you’re using some beyond their free stack. Thanks.

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