Even the most avid social networking junkies have to leave the computer sometimes. But if EQO of Vancouver, B.C. is successful, they may never need to again. The folks who believe that the PDA of tomorrow is your cell phone, have connected the dots today so you can stay in touch with online buddies anywhere there’s a cell phone signal.
This week at CTIA, EQO is showing off its new free EQO Me “widget” for staying connected. The company also announced this week that it’s participating in the Nokia Developer Forum with the goal of ensuring EQO capabilities on future Nokia phones.
But the beauty of EQO’s widget is that you don’t need anything from the phone manufacturer to use it. If you have mobile Internet service, you just download the widget to your PC. It can be embedded into community profile pages, blogs — any page that accepts HTML code.
Once the widget is loaded, you can do everything you would be able to do sitting in front of your PC. You can send messages to your MySpace buddies or send pictures from your mobile phone — all through your buddy list. “Over the course of the next 9 to 12 months, a lot of Web content companies are looking to find their way to mobile phones,” predicts EQO spokesman Doug Wylie.
EQO’s business model is predicated on the cellular network — not WiFi — as the basis for unified communication.
“Taking IP technology to a mobile phone just using WiFi is the wrong approach,” says Wylie. “They rely on hotspots and the pervasiveness of hotspots and that’s not there yet. WiFi isn’t there when you’re walking around on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, the cell phone network has reached saturation.”
But while there’s lots of buzz around social networking right now, it’s not entirely clear how much interest MySpace users have in a seamless connection with their online buddies – or how long before MySpace is supplanted by the Next Big Thing. The idea was a non-starter for one 15 year-old – although, admittedly, this isn’t a scientific sampling.
“I’m sure people will use it, but not me,” he says. “If I want to talk to people I’ll call them. Besides,” he adds, “MySpace is boring.”
However, EQO also hints at some new offerings to be announced within the next month that may be of more interest to his parents’ generation.