Around the world with Mobimate's Worldmate i10

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MobiMate’s Worldmate was one of the first traveler oriented programs released for mobile devices back in 1999. Since then, Worldmate has become a catchphrase of sorts in the mobile travel business- with real-time “Flight Status” information being their claim to fame. But in fact, Worldmate does much more than that. Billed as a “Swiss Army Knife” for travelers, Worldmate delivers updated currency rates, clothing size conversion, weather information, and time zone changing from one easy to use screen. Although the controls look a bit dated, there is no question that the information they provide is up-to-date. At CTIA, MobiMate announced and showed a live demo (on a Blackberry) of a groundbreaking new product- the WorldMate i10. Offering up an Outlook plugin for travel itinerary conversion, and push travel information changes, it has the potential to literally revolutionize travel. Imagine: You are on your way to the airport, when you realize that you’ve left an all important brief at home. Since if the cab turns around and heads back precious minutes will be lost, you decide to make the flight and present your pitch without those critical documents. Biting your nails, wondering how in the world to sell the item without the presentation, a vibrate/chime sounds. Looking down, a “New Email” item has arrived. It is Worldmate’s travel servers letting you know that the flight to London has been delayed 35 minutes- and also to remind you that there is heavy fog in the U.K. now, so make sure to bring appropriate outerwear. As you step off the plane in England, (wearing the slicker you grabbed running out the door), you thank Worldmate for the i10! While the above scenario may or may not play out exactly as described, and the implementation may not be exactly that (and hopefully you’ll never forget that briefing- after all, you aren’t forgetful, are you?), the point is the “it could happen”. Moreover, i10’s capabilities wouldn’t be limited to just the above- once you factor in auto conversion of travel info into actionable data, everything form car rentals to hotel room rescheduling can be done in a streamlined fashion. Since Worldmate would know your location based on your itinerary, it could also automatically deliver pertinent news and weather information that would be location specific! Another feature of the current Worldmate line (and one would imagine the i10 series as well, eventually) is their cross-platform support; J2ME, Blackberry, S60, UIQ, Palm and Windows Mobile all have release versions of their client. In a rather interesting move, the pricing scheme for i10 seems to have gotten a complete makeover from Worldmate 2007- there is even talk of a free version; which is an about face from the current $75 per annum model. Admittedly an ambitious endeavor, i10, however, seems to be on the verge of being released in beta form (at least Blackberry- no love yet for us WM folk). Planned for a public Q2/Q3 beta, let’s hope and pray for a quick WM release! As soon as MobiMate has something in alpha for WM, they have promised to send it our way- so stay tuned for more. WMDisclaimer: Many of the units/applications I review are sent to me at no charge. Sometimes I keep these, and sometimes they are loaner unit/trial applications. Whatever the case, I do my level best to remain impartial- however, we are all only human- me included:).

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