Apple iPhone to allow users to buy and send cupcakes, more

“What’s next for the iPhone? One firm is betting on virtual cupcakes and Tamagotchi-like digital pets. Viximo, an 11-month-old Cambridge, Mass.-based start-up, has created four iPhone applications that revolve around digital goods–digitally produced images that people buy, exchange and display online,” Elizabeth Woyke reports for Forbes.

“When the applications debut in September or October, users will be able to exchange digital goods, such as a cupcake to celebrate a birthday or a teddy bear as a get-well gift. Senders will pay anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars for the goods,” Woyke reports. “Recipients will download the digital presents to their phones, possibly using links in text messages.”

“Such services are common on social networking sites like Facebook, where users send and store digital gifts on their online profiles,” Woyke reports. “But technical and billing complications have kept companies from promoting the practice to cellphone users. Apple’s App Store ecosystem, which uses iTunes to access customers’ phones and bill them, takes care of those challenges.”

“What’s more, the iPhone, with its sophisticated touchscreen, crisp graphics and motion-sensing accelerometer, is the perfect showcase for digital goods… Most digital goods resemble static computer icons. The iPhone, however, can allow users to shake a virtual 8-ball, ‘drink’ a can of beer or launch a 15-second movie clip with a flick of their handsets,” Woyke reports.

“The phone’s geo-tracking function could also come into play,” Woyke reports. “Retailers could identify iPhone owners that walk into certain stores and offer those consumers digital gifts.”

Much more in the full article here.


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