Quick Hits – June 11, 2004

Wireless quenches golfers’ thirst

For all you golfers who worry about not indulging in enough alcohol out on the course, Markham, Ont.-based Motion Wireless Inc. has launched a wireless business management system, CartMaster, that enables cash, credit, debit and third-party transactions. It includes a tournament management module and the ability to issue a receipt for any remote snack bars, restaurants and pro-shops. “As golfers (all of us golf) we knew one of the biggest issues we all had was running out of cash on the course and having to miss out on that much needed refreshment or sandwich,” said Motion Wireless in a statement on its Web site. The firm claimed CartMaster will increase revenues on golf courses, partly because of the speed of the credit transactions, which take 8.5 seconds outdoors and two seconds indoors.

Gucci ships high-fashion iPod bag

International fashion house Gucci Group NV has pounced on the market opportunity inherent for third parties in the success of Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod music player — introducing its own designer iPod carrying case. Available online through Gucci’s U.S. store, the iPod case comes in multiple colours and costs almost as much as an iPod — US$195. The case is available the latest Gucci colours — beige/ebony GG plus with dark brown leather trim, green/red/green web carrying handle, and silver hardware. The market’s ripe, according to Apple’s iPod worldwide product marketing manager Danika Cleary. “iPod accessories sell and sell. You can even take a category, cases for example: there are dozens and dozens of cases and there seems unlimited room for new ones. We have over 100 per cent connect rate of cases to iPods. This means everybody buys at least one and many buy more than one.”

These cell phones sparkle

The newest trend in cell phone accessories is all about the bling-bling: Thousands of phones are being decorated with colourful Swarovski crystals by a Manhattan designer. NY Noir has sparkled the cell phones belonging to such celebrities as Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blond 2, Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on Sex and the City, and real-life cell phone user Star Jones of the talk show The View. Customizing your cell phone costs US$220 for the whole phone and US$110 for just the front. Noir requires customers to leave their phones for three weeks while its designers place each individual crystal on the phone by hand.

Practice safe online dating

Sea Girt, N.J.-based BigString.com has launched an erasable, recallable e-mail service in a bid to reduce emotional health risks for people who visit online dating sites. In a statement, the firm’s CEO Darin Myman said that after starting an Internet relationship, “it’s not unusual to e-mail embarrassing love letters or revealing photographs to your amour du jour,” meanwhile forgetting that these intimate messages and pictures are now part of a permanent record, residing in the recipient’s inbox or file folder. “These sometimes mortifying e-mails can be forwarded to anyone on the World Wide Web,” he warned. BigString.com’s service enables users to recall any sent e-mail, make the message self-destruct after any number of viewings, or at any time. Users can also retrieve their e-mails from a dating-service recipient after they’ve stopped seeing each other. The cost, which includes spam and virus protection, is US$29.95 a year.

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