MobilRelay has launched Mobile Box Office in the USA, a service that enables moviegoers to use mobile phones as tickets. The company says it is the first service of its kind in the United States and it is available beginning 18 January for all shows at Emagine in Canton, Mich.
Users with a WAP-enabled (Wireless Application Protocol) mobile phone and a color screen may use Mobile Box Office to browse movie listing dates and times, select and pay for any movie. To use the service, consumers navigate to mbo.com directly on their mobile phones and follow prompts to browse and buy movie tickets.
After making a show selection and secure credit card transaction, moviegoers receive an electronic, bar-coded ticket on their mobile phones, which is scanned for entry at the theater.
According to the Motion Picture Industry Association, there were more than 47 million Internet-enabled mobile phones in the U.S. in 2004, a 96 percent increase from 2003. And 24 percent of respondents to a 2004 Claria Corporation survey said that they had bought movie tickets online.
The company has a patent pending on a process for distributing bar-coded messages to mobile devices, part of the technology being used in the new service. MBO technology incorporates Wireless Universal Resource File (WURFL), the largest open source movement for mobile device compatibility.