Urban Airship and SimpleGeo Announce Strategic Partnership to Deliver Contextual, Location-Aware Push Notifications

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Joint initiatives will bring mobile location-aware push notifications to market, adding highly contextual, personalized experiences to mobile apps. Urban Airship, the industry-leading provider of mobile services that deliver enhanced mobile app engagement, is aligning its platform strategy with that of SimpleGeo, the company leading the charge in making it easy for developers to create location-aware applications. The combined efforts will deliver the next-generation of smart mobile messaging, in which users receive real-time information relevant to them at the exact time that they engage with their mobile device. This kind of smart, contextual user experience adds a new level of convenience and utility to apps.

Push Notifications with Location-Aware data Deliver on the Contextual User Mobile Experience

SimpleGeo and Urban Airship partner to bring sophisticated location-aware push notifications to market.

"The apps on your mobile device will know where users are, but also the context around their location to give users unique mobile experiences." Scott Kveton, CEO, Urban Airship

Today at the annual OSCON conference, Urban Airship and SimpleGeo jointly announce a strategic partnership to bring location-aware push notifications to mobile app developers. Urban Airship, the industry-leading provider of mobile services that deliver enhanced mobile app engagement, is aligning its platform strategy with that of SimpleGeo, the company leading the charge in making it easy for developers to create location-aware applications. The combined efforts will deliver the next-generation of smart mobile messaging, in which users receive real-time information relevant to them at the exact time that they engage with their mobile device. This kind of smart, contextual user experience adds a new level of convenience and utility to apps.

A July 2011 independent report from Forrester Research, Inc. “The Future of Mobile is User Context,” identifies context as the key to delivering user convenience. Consumer product strategy professionals must leverage context to create and deliver product experiences that enhance the overall value of a product. The report states that “context involves the use of information about the consumer, such as location, to personalize or tailor experiences to minimize steps and manual entries.” As user context evolves, “the phone becomes an opportunity to deliver entirely new innovative services and products that have the potential to generate revenue.”

“We talk often about the future, when the apps on your mobile device know not only exactly where you are, but also the context around your location—the weather, the time of day, the neighborhood, and more—and deliver customized information based on those factors to give you a unique experience,” said Scott Kveton, CEO, Urban Airship. “By combining our technologies with SimpleGeo, we think the next generation of smarter apps will be here in about the next 18 months.”

“Apps are definitely getting smarter, and by partnering with Urban Airship, we will be able to speed the promise of real-time, location-aware notifications that the market has been waiting for,” said Jay Adelson, CEO of SimpleGeo.

Mapping device coordinates to real-life location data and making it relevant is what SimpleGeo is known for, while understanding how consumers use their mobile apps is the expertise of Urban Airship. The partnership between Urban Airship and SimpleGeo will make it easy for their combined ecosystems of app developers to add situational layers of functionality to make mobile apps smarter. Clients of both companies will benefit with robust location and user behavior data that is used to create personalized, relevant user experiences. By integrating the back-end technologies of both companies, users will soon be able to receive real-time alerts based on location, such as "It's hot outside and you're 50 feet from your favorite coffee shop (we know this because you use the app). $2 off Iced Coffees!"

The combination of location with push notifications is a powerful prospect for end users. One can imagine an app that includes situational location data about the local weather and simply pushes users a reminder, “Don’t forget an umbrella” before the user walks out into the rain. The simple addition of a latitude and longitude data to most anything can open up a world of possibilities. Another example is the to-do list: in conjunction with a smartphone's acquisition of a user's location, the to-do app can automatically notify app users, via push notification, when they’re near the place where they can accomplish a particular task.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Urban Airship and SimpleGeo will be rolling out their joint functionality in phases, with the first slated for sometime in Q3. In the first phase, SimpleGeo Context will parse location events from the Urban Airship push notification data to provide robust contextual tags in the platform’s API, also available via the company’s Push Composer, allowing message authors to peg notifications to one or more slices of their user base. In this scenario, app developers could command their apps to “Push to devices in Zip code 97209 that are iPod Only,” or “Push to San Francisco Locale devices only” The ongoing strategic partnership will continue to enrich the companies’ platform offerings.            

Location and its associated properties, including geography, latitude/longitude, environment, neighborhood demographics, zip code and temperature, are the key to an improved user experience using location data. Location can be as specific as a lat/long coordinate, or as general as a census district that draws the boundary of a state or province.

Urban Airship Reports tool collects and makes available to its developer base the information required to measure and understand sophisticated mobile usage patterns over time and to guide the improvement of those experiences. SimpleGeo will incorporate patterns and user-defined preference data—such as which categories of apps individuals launch regularly, which messages individuals respond to, and how quickly users respond to messages—into its upcoming product releases as an additional data layer that will inform which location coordinates are most relevant to apps talking to that user.

About Urban Airship
Urban Airship powers the world’s most successful mobile apps. Providing breakthrough technology, Urban Airship makes mobile marketing far more engaging, effective and efficient. Top brands depend on Urban Airship to ensure their mobile app initiatives are scalable and profitable. Verizon, Dictionary.com, Groupon, Tapulous, and Warner Bros. are just a few of the thousands of companies that utilize Urban Airship's innovative platform to reach and engage target audiences and increase app revenue streams through push notification, rich messaging, in-app purchase, subscriptions and data tracking. The venture-backed company was recently named to the Red Herring 100 Startups in North America, Fast Company’s list of the most innovative companies and one of the top 300 start-ups in the world. The company is located in Portland, Oregon.

About SimpleGeo
SimpleGeo provides a ready-to-use services platform that makes it easy for developers to build location-aware features into their web and mobile applications. Lead by CEO Jay Adelson and founded by Joe Stump and Matt Galligan in May 2009, SimpleGeo has raised nearly $10 million to date in seed and Series A funding led by Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital, and other influential venture firms and angel investors. SimpleGeo is located San Francisco, California.

Media Contact:
Candace Locklear
MIGHTY for Urban Airship
candace(at)mightypr(dot)com

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