mobispirit is open for business

What is mobispirit.com?

  • A unique marketplace for mobile service creation
  • Choose and personalize applications that you need and build your own mobile publishing platform
  • Create mobile services such as mobile web sites, SMS services or mobile video service
  • No software to install
  • Rely on a robust and secure infrastructure

This is what the homepage of Mobispirit says. I registered for free and took advantage of the free trial. The site offers a number of services all centered around SMS and a little bit of mobile web (or WAP, if you like it better). A number of services are available from Mobispirit and you can decide which ones you want to activate (and pay for). The available services are Newsletter, SMS Push, Web Triggers, SMS Triggers and Video Galleries.

Newsletter
This is exactly what you’d expect from it, allows you to send an SMS message to a list of recipients. Recipients are managed on the server side, you can insert names and numbers manually or import from a text file (basically a CSV file). It is also possible to edit addresses and numbers using the web interface, very simple. I tried to create a couple of recipients and sent out a newsletter, I received the SMS within a few seconds. Special characters such as accented letters (à, è, ì, etc) were displayed properly on my phone. It might seem something stupid, but if you have worked with SMS you’ll know that everyone has lost a few hours or days trying to make them work properly.
When sending a newsletter you can pick the recipients manually or build distribution lists (much more comfortable if you do it regularly, of course).

SMS Push
This service lets you specify a text (shorter than a standard SMS), and a URL and deliver a wappush message to a list of recipients. Simple and effective.

Web Triggers
Web Triggers is very interesting, you get an HTML code snippet that you can paste into any of your web sites and users will be able to provide their phone number and receive a wappush message. Very useful if you have a website and want to invite users to easily reach your mobile site. Wappush messages are also often used as bookmarks so sending it easily is certainly a nice thing to have. The service also lets you customize text messages so you can personalize and localize them. Multiple languages are not supported, so if you want to do it, you will have to create more web triggers. Could have been better.
I hadn’t seen this as part of a public service before.

SMS Triggers
This is what you might have seen on magazines, allows a user to define a set of id’s and customers sending an SMS to a short number will trigger an event.
All content providers know this VERY well.

Video Galleries
This is probably the only part that is also about mobile web sites. You can create a list of video contents that users can browse and download.
There is certainly a lot of work in the background as you can upload a video in a wide range of formats and the server will take care of converting and rescaling the video. Understanding the right codec, size and bitrate for each mobile device is something that takes a lot of time when you start doing videos for the first time, so it’s great they are actually taking all the hard work for you. When new devices are released, Mobispirit should follow quickly, so even maintenance is taken off your shoulders.
When building a video gallery, Mobispirit will also build the catalog for you. A full service could include sending wappush messages to your video gallery, or using a web trigger to go download videos.
According to Mobispirit, the generated site gets a 5 (best rate) on ready.mobi, dotMobi’s checking and rating service.

Conclusions
Video Gallery and most of all video conversion is the only thing I can really say is innovative. The web trigger is something I hadn’t seen before, but it’s not rocket science.
It is clear that the service is actually built on top of the experience that the company has developed in many years working in the mobile space.
It is good, anyway, that you can have a single place with all these services. It is certainly inviting for a company that wants to do some integrated services.

Reading from the service description in the homepage, I would have expected much more WAP development in the sense of a simple CMS service that would allow me to build WAP pages. It is not clear if the service is meant for companies that will have their own WAP site (and so use the SMS push) or if they should use the generated sites for Video Galleries. Most of the services are meant to be connected to something that the user should build on his own, while the Video Gallery does everything. Since WAP has a high learning curve, providing more services around it would certainly add value to the Mobispirit service.
Since they built the page creator for videos, why not do it for images and ringtones?
Where is the streaming service?

The overall rating is good, anyway, I’d give it a 7 out of 10 because the site is simple to use and the SMS messages were delivered within seconds. Phone numbers should be entered in international format and will be delivered worldwide and this is certainly a good thing.
The documentation pages need some more work, I think, as I had to try a couple of things before I could understand how they’d work while I could not understand if from the documentation.
Mobile payments certainly lack. I know it’s not easy to put them in place, but even if they were limited to some countries, it would be good to have a process to open paid services similar to Bango or as a premium SMS.
It is good to have all these services available in a single place and if Mobispirit keeps adding them in the next months and years, it can become a point of reference.