Mobile e-Tourism in Salamanca, Spain


Wow! I'm pretty blown away by this.

I posted a while ago about an idea to combine MMS messaging with tourism so that people who were wandering around a city could get a virtual tourguide from their phone. As they run across sites, the tourists could send an SMS to a special phone number with the code of the site (marked on a free map given out at stores or selected from a WAP menu with an online map) and receive a MMS message with audio/video explaining that site in their language. My idea for a business was to create the infrastructure for all this online and then sell it/rent it to municipalities.

Well, yesterday I got my new Nokia 3650 and on the phone were a bunch of video-clip advertisements - both showing off the multimedia capabilities of the phone AND providing a bit of revenue to Nokia as well I'm sure. Most of the videos were from big companies like Coca-cola, Alfa Romeo, Hugo Boss, etc. Except for one: The City of Salamanca, Spain.

As soon as I saw the quick video talking about "e-turismo" from your phone I KNEW who the company who did it was because I worked with them! When I first came out to Spain, I was helping work on a huge proposal for Airtel (now Vodafone) for how to best transition to 3G services which was supposed to be launched in the fall of 2000 (yep, those were the days). I was working for an American consulting company who was partners with a Spanish firm centered in Salamanca called GPM Internet Factory. It's filled with a bunch of smart young guys right out of the university of Salamanca and is a pretty fun place. The American consulting company ended up blowing up badly - taking a lot of money down the tubes with them - but the guys at GPM kept at it obviously.

The site is called Patrimonio Móvil Salamanca and it's designed to allow you to tour the city of Salamanca via your mobile telephone or PDA via wireless, WAP, SMS or MMS. If you don't know, Salamanca is an ancient university town about 2 hours North West of Madrid and is a great turist destination. I'm very, very impressed with my old coworkers. They had to have been working on this for a while now with the forsight AND connections to get a sample video preinstalled on the Nokias sold here in Spain. That's quite the coup if you ask me. Wow.

Pretty damn cool. Here I am thinking I'm a genius for thinking up this stuff a month or so ago, and some old coworkers are a year or so ahead of me on it! LOL. Yep, I'm a visionary. Hehe. Anyways, great job by these guys - this is the first I've seen of anything like this and its out of little Salamanca, Spain. Amazing, hey?



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