It may not be near as ‘designer cool’ as Apple’s iPhone, but new startup ZenZui may actually give those with lust in their hearts (but an unwillingness to change to Cingular or pay $500+ for a closed system iPhone) another graphical option that’s pretty slick.
According to this story in the.next.net, ZenZui will push data to mobile phones in the form of little widgets that people can subscribe to. And because they don’t intend to make their own phone, they will have fewer restrictions than Apple on who can create the widgets and where the widgets can be seen. Content owners, brands or even individual developers can build the tiles. Which means we could see lots of them developed very quickly because anything with an RSS feed can become a widget. Subscribing to widgets would enable users to create their own mobile portal.
The Zoomspace that appears on a phone’s screen is a grid of 16 “tiles” that could be sponsored by major brands, such as Amazon.com, Nike, Kayak.com, ABC, Fox’s “The Family Guy,” Traffic.com and more. Users pick the tiles they want on their screen (i.e. subscribe to the feeds). Eventually, the grid is expected to grow to 36 tiles. The tiles let users see 16 miniature pages at once. They can zoom in on a tile to get flight times or prices, or zoom out to scroll around to another page.
Each tile reserves space for ads in a corner. Which will give carriers new revenue streams through advertising and the ads will subsidize the application, so there’s no charge to the user. Mobile advertising is a hot topic now for marketers and this could help it gain some traction, but could create a pretty cluttered environment in short order. Yet to be seen I guess.
ZenZui will make this service free (but the invite-only beta doesn’t start until the summer). There’s a video demo of how it work on YouTube here>