Feature

Beer tokens sent to mobile phone

Drinkers and award judges alike raise their glasses to David Seabright's innovative use of SMS messages

David Seabright is the technical wizard behind one of the coolest innovations to hit the drinks industry - the SMS beer token, writes Guy Campos. Seabright is technical director at agency Soho, London, the company that designed the www.mywapworld.com site.

Visitors to Mywapworld can get beer tokens sent to their mobile phone as a short message service (SMS) message by entering their number. All they then have to do is hand the token to the bartender at the participating establishment, who then checks an ID number and deletes the message after pouring the drink. Sadly, the user is limited to one voucher per day.

The tokens, however, don't only cover drinks but also bear offers such as 10% off a taxi ride, a free bottle of wine with a meal, or a jump-to-the-front-of-the-queue pass.

The mobile promotional token is one of the most refreshing features of Mywapworld, which provides information on bars, pubs and clubs in London and Brighton. By the end of the summer, when the service is formally launched, Mywapworld is expected to cover 11 metropolitan areas. And it has already won an award for the most innovative use of technology at this year's Yell UK Web Awards.

As technology develops, Seabright will be making Mywapworld work with interactive TV, the next generation of mobile phones and with Bluetooth devices.

Seabright and his team of five created their own content management system to run the site using Cold Fusion and Microsoft Active Server Pages. Naturally, this means the data is formatted in XML so that it can be used on any device that may be developed in the future.

Since completing the initial development of Mywapworld, Seabright has also worked on www.swapcd.co.uk, a site that invites users to send in CDs which earn swap points they can then use to purchase other CDs that have been sent in.

When not innovating for the Web, Seabright, a keen amateur Egyptologist, likes to pop out of the office and take a look at the mummy of Pharaoh Ramases II at the nearby British Museum.

Perhaps he should offer old Ramases an SMS beer token - let's face it, it's enough to bring any old mummy back into the world of the living.

Curriculum Vitae

Name: David Seabright

Job title: technical director, mywapworld.com

Age: 39

Qualifications: BSc in materials science

IT skills: Microsoft ASP, VBScript, Allaire Cold Fusion, Microsoft SQLServer 6.5 and 7, HTML, Javascript, SQL, NT, Unix

Hobbies: Egyptology, buying the latest kit

Favourite book: Arthur C Clarke's 2010

Favourite pub/bar: Cabanas Aquarela, Porto Seguro, Bahia - a bar on a tropical beach in Brazil. I go there every year

Seabright on Seabright: modest, calm, collected


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This was first published in September 2000

 

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