RIM Unveils Mobile Ad, Payment, Push and LBS Platform

Research In Motion (RIM) has unveiled a new services platform for developers that it says will enable them to streamline business processes and build highly responsive, location-aware, revenue-generating applications for BlackBerry Smartphones. The new services platform will offer advertising, payment, content push and location services.
The BlackBerry Advertising Service will enable developers to integrate advertising into their BlackBerry applications. RIM plans to provide developers with access to a large pool of quality and innovative ad units from trusted advertising networks such as Jumptap, Lat49, Millennial Media, Navteq, 1020 Placecast, Quattro Wireless and Sympatico.ca. The service will feature ads compliant with the Mobile Marketing Association's (MMA) guidelines as well as rich media ads that will be able to deeply integrate with BlackBerry applications.
Examples of this deep integration between ads and applications will include the ability to easily initiate a call from an ad, add a calendar entry or contact entry from an ad, and directly link to an application in BlackBerry App World from an ad. The service will also include real-time, detailed, consolidated reporting of advertising across ad networks, including ad impressions, clicks, conversions and earnings, as well as integration into the Omniture Online Marketing Suite for more advanced analytics. The BlackBerry Advertising Service and a Software Development Kit (SDK) are planned for the first half of 2010.
A new BlackBerry Payment Service will present BlackBerry developers with new opportunities to monetize applications by selling digital content such as premium content, monthly or annual subscriptions, and additional levels or upgrades for games and other entertainment applications from within their applications. The BlackBerry Payment Service will also incorporate merchant services, including customer billing.
BlackBerry Push Service, which was first made exclusively available to BlackBerry Alliance Program members earlier this year, will be made generally available to registered developers in the first half of 2010. BlackBerry Push Service allows developers and content providers to deliver time-sensitive alerts and up to 8kb of data to applications.
Adding to the GPS capabilities already supported on the BlackBerry Application Platform today, RIM will introduce three new location-based services for developers to build location-aware applications for BlackBerrys. The three new location-based services include Cell Site Geolocation, Reverse Geocoding and Travel Time.
Cell Site Geolocation will provide developers with an alternative to GPS, providing an estimate of a Smartphones location based on cell tower triangulation. The service is planned to be available in the first half of 2010. It will be supported on BlackBerrys running BlackBerry OS 5.0 or higher.
Reverse Geocoding converts geolocation coordinates to a specific address for use in BlackBerry applications. Reverse geocoding is available today with BlackBerrys running BlackBerry OS 5.0 or higher. A reverse geocoding API is available with the BlackBerry Java Software Development Kit 5.0.
Travel Time will enable developers to incorporate estimated travel time within their applications for almost any destination in the US and Canada, using a simple API call. The travel time calculations will be based on distance, speed limits and aggregated traffic conditions. The travel time service is expected to be available in the first half of 2010.
The BlackBerry ecosystem is thriving and with the new services platform announced today we will help developers further monetize their applications and build breakthrough, highly responsive, location-aware applications for BlackBerry Smartphones, says Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion. RIM is continuing to provide the tools, technologies and business services that developers need to create and market even more powerful and successful applications on the BlackBerry Application Platform.
Theres more information and updates about the new services available to developers on the BlackBerry Application Platform here.