Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

August 18, 2006 at 12:54 PM

Medio tells Telus customers a lot

Seattle-based Medio Systems has received a lot of attention for developing mobile search capabilities, a very hot segment in the wireless industry.

Today, it said it formed a partnership with Telus, which has 4.7 million wireless subscribers in Canada.

In a press release, Medio said Telus Mobile Search is a tool that makes it simple to to find information. The software is free and allows users to search and download music, ringtones, wallpapers, games, flight information, news, sports scores, lottery results, stock quotes, weather, product ratings and price points.

That’s a lot of information, but on the surface, what it does is help users make fewer clicks when looking for what they want, according to Brian Lent, Medio’s president and CEO.

“Our research and analysis revealed that a large proportion of search queries take users deep into the content libraries, beyond the top 40 results that are found on almost every other carrier’s WAP deck,” he said. “Trying to find a Led Zeppelin or Frank Sinatra ringtone is virtually impossible when navigating through the dozen or more screens to get there.”

For example, if a user searches for a specific Nelly Furtado ringtone, Medio will return ringtones and tracks, sorted by popularity, from every content provider that can be played on that user’s handset, and images from her albums. It will also present related content, such as ringtones from Natasha Bedingfield, an artist with a similar style that may appeal to Furtado fans.

Beyond retail items you can buy on the phone, it’s interesting to note that users will also be able to comparison shop by entering the ISBN product code for a book or a UPC product code for a game in a store to receive the average user rating and street price for the product. Users will also be able to enter a Canada Post tracking number to determine delivery status.

Sounds like a pretty good product for something that’s free. I know carriers are hoping to sell more content by making things easier to find, but it also makes me wonder if there’s advertising involved. In April, Medio announced that it had purchased WebRelevance, a company that specializes in matching advertisements with content on Web pages.

UPDATE: Medio just got back to me about if there is an advertising component to the search software. The answer was — No, “there is not advertising at this point.” I suppose that leaves it open for down the road.

Comments | More in Wireless & telecom


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►