Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Fastmall – Navigation inside of a mall and crowdsourcing architecture to gather local information.

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

GMapping - FastMall

FastMall has been featured on – An unofficial blog about Google’s indoor mapping and the next generation of mapping applications.

Fastmall is a very interesting example of a mall navigation app and crowdsourcing architecture to gather indoor information. It provides navigation inside of a mall, floor plans and a platform for users to collaborate and share information of what is going on in a mall (store openings, changes, promotions etc.). The shared information is then used to update the floor plan data layer providing more details about each venue. Powerful concept.

To read the full article, click here.

Download FastMall 4.0 for iPhone or iPod Touch FREE –

FastMall 3.0 Icon – Malls Bet on MindSmack’s FastMall App to Draw Shoppers Back.

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Bloomberg Logo FastMall

Foot traffic at U.S. malls has dropped each of the past three holiday seasons, according to retail intelligence firm ShopperTrak. Reason: People are doing more shopping online. To bolster mall sales, a new group of mobile startups, such as New York’s MindSmack, are developing indoor-mapping applications to entice shoppers.

President and Chief Executive Sam Feuer founded MindSmack in 1999 as an online advertising designer. In January, the 40-employee company launched its first iPhone application, called FastMall, which offers turn-by-turn navigation to any store, restroom, or eatery in nearly 900 malls in 24 countries. The free app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times, and MindSmack recently launched a version for Android phones.

With the number of downloads growing 25 percent each month, the 33-year-old Feuer plans to launch an advertising platform underneath FastMall’s maps early this year. The technology will let retailers display promotions on the maps to drive shoppers to stores. In addition, the application will bundle data on which stores users visit with demographic information they enter when they register, including their ages, genders, and zip codes. MindSmack plans to sell the aggregate data to mall owners, retailers, and potential advertisers.

Feuer is forecasting revenue to increase to $5.5 million in 2011, from $3.7 million in 2010, driven largely by advertising on FastMall. Feuer spoke recently with contributor Antone Gonsalves about his plans to meld advertising with indoor mapping and how he will satisfy clients’ information needs while also protecting user privacy. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

Antone Gonsalves: Indoor-mapping services on mobile phones are so new that everyone in the market is a pioneer. What do you see as potential moneymakers?

Sam Feuer: Our thing is this advertising platform, which is really where we believe stores, retailers, [and] brands will pay to offer deals, coupons, [and] information on the maps themselves. Not only stores in the mall but outside as well. We’re working on mapping Rodeo Drive [in Beverly Hills], the Las Vegas Strip, Newbury Street in Boston, the Santa Monica [Calif.] Pier.

The user will open up the map and see a logo for X store. It could be the Gap logo, for example. And then next to the Gap’s logo they’ll see a deal icon that, when tapped, will showcase a deal or information or coupon code that can be shown to a cashier. There’s a huge amount of metrics that we’re capturing here that’s never been captured before. We know what routes people take at a given mall, so we can send this data to the mall owner, to the retailer, to the advertiser.

Q: Are you concerned that Google could one day expand its mapping service into the inside of malls and put you out of business?

A: We’ve led the pack. There’s always got to be a leader and then followers. Still, Google is Google, and if Google wants to build what we’ve built, then I’m sure they can do so. But they haven’t yet, and I have the patents on navigating the way that we’ve done it, without a signal, without Wi-Fi, without GPS. We’ve patented the entire process.

Q: If indoor mapping becomes a lucrative market, do you see yourself as a takeover target?

A: I definitely do. We’ve already been contacted by many companies about data, just to use the data that we have, and we’re debating what to do with it. I’m not sure if I want to license the data to different companies or not. We’re sort of working out those details.

Q: So after spending $1.5 million of your own money over the past two years, you believe it’s time to bring in investors?

A: It’s a no-brainer. I don’t have the world working for me, and we can continue to hire, and we are, but this is something that could live on and should live on everyone’s device.

Q: Mobile applications like yours raise serious privacy issues, since you will be tracking people’s activities and sending the data to advertisers, retailers, and other third-party companies. How do you plan to address these issues?

A: We’re selling that information to the retailer to enhance everyone’s experience that’s involved. The user will have to opt in. Once we get to that point that we’re offering deals on the map, we’re going to be asking users to sign up, so they get not only a deal, but a deal that means something to them. That’s the winner, and people will sign up in droves.

Q: Do you support the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s recommendation for a do-not- track option for everyone using the Web?

A: I haven’t thought that much about it, but whatever the government decides is legal, then we’re going to go along with it, obviously. If I’m mobile and I choose that it’s O.K. [to be tracked], then why can’t I track [that] person? Really, people want to be tracked. Anyone who’s using these applications, they actually want to be tracked in some way. They want to see information that means something to them. We have to have a defined structure of seeing ads we care about, and I think that’s going to make everybody’s life better, not worse. But it still needs to be handled in a professional way.

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Download FastMall 3.0.7 for iPhone or iPod Touch FREE –

FastMall 3.0 Icon

Micro location marketing in the malls of the world with the FastMall app and President/CEO Sam Feuer.

Monday, June 28th, 2010

The coolest thing about a location-based service is when it can get you from one place to another — hence GPS and the insane consumer advantage Google had by including the software layer for free with the Android operating system.

FastMall is a unique and needed service layer that combines that all-important aspect of getting around and the new wave of location-based services and marketing (ala Gowalla and Foursquare) within malls in 17 countries (and counting).

Sam Feuer, a pioneer in social and new media, is stretching and enhancing the shopping experience through a mobile device that has benefit to you and I (the users), the stores in the malls (through JIT marketing) and the malls themselves by enhancing their brand and extending their reach into mobile.

Sam is an experienced guy with a lot to say — so much that we overheated the SKYPE connection, blew the audio feed twice and needed to let the interwebs cool down a bit but we managed to get it all in. Behind the business of mobile

Aventura Mall Shopping, Services Site Writes About The Power Of FastMall.

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

FastMall has an iPhone that lets the shopper navigate malls throughout the country, including Aventura Mall.

It allows users to customize their turn-by-turn directions to include the fastest route to the desired location, or a route using only escalators or elevators, perfect for parents with strollers or individuals with any type of disability.

FastMall can also direct you to the nearest restroom, food court and help you remember where you parked.

Add a video or photos to your review of any product, store, restroom, restaurant or anything else shopping related. FastMall will post it in the app and on the website/youtube channel after moderation.

The user has the ability to add/view reviews with videos or photos. Share on Facebook and Twitter as well or email any review to someone.

A map icon filter is located on the bottom right of any mall map. You can tap this icon to choose the icons you want to view on the map. For example, you can remove mall entrance icons, elevator icons and so on if you like.

Select mode on all mall maps. This is one new features that enable you to navigate around the map with your finger. On any map simply tap, then hold down your finger and drag your finger over the stores. You can see the store names on the map. Then release your finger from over the map and a pin drops onto the selected store.

Check in at any mall or store. Similar to Foursquare or Gowalla, FastMall now allows you to check in and let the world know where you are. To check in you can simply go to any blue mall menu and tap check in, or on the store detail/mall information page, tap check in and your all set.

Add mall or store to the main menu of the app. Choose any mall or store that you like and add that icon to the main menu as a shortcut.

Read the entire article here:

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Willowbrook Mall New Jersey in Wayne, NJ, Westfield Southcenter in Seattle, WA and Triangle Town Center in Raleigh, NC made interactive today. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ features 200 stores including: BCBGMAXAZRIA, BEBE, Bloomingdale’s, J.Crew, J. Jill, M.A.C, Sephora, White House/Black Market, Zara International, and many more outstanding retailers.

Experience a variety of dining options at our 18 food court vendor locations along with our three restaurants that include: The Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen and Ruby Tuesday.

Westfield Southcenter in Seattle, WA features over 240 stores, including: Champs Sports, Forever 21, JCPenney, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sears and Victoria’s Secret.

Triangle Town Center in Raleigh, NC features 165 stores including Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Dillard’s, HudsonBelk, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sears.

Make sure to check in at any mall, store or restaurant for the chance to win a $25 gift card to the place you check in to, rate and review stores, restrooms and restaurants and pass the FastMall experience along to friends and family.

Download FastMall for Phone FREE –

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Joan Verdon Of The Bergen Record Writes About FastMall for iPhone, CEO Sam Feuer

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Sam Feuer and his wife were at Menlo Park Mall about a year ago when his wife — 6 1/2 months pregnant at the time — needed to use the bathroom. “And no one could tell us where the nearest bathroom was,” he said. “It literally took us almost 25 minutes to find a bathroom.”
Necessity was the mother of invention: Sam Feuer of Web developer MindSmack says his pregnant wife urged him to develop an application to help people find the nearest restrooms in the mall. FastMall is the result.

Necessity was the mother of invention: Sam Feuer of Web developer MindSmack says his pregnant wife urged him to develop an application to help people find the nearest restrooms in the mall. FastMall is the result.

Feuer (pronounced FOY-er) heads a North Brunswick-based Web development company called MindSmack that specializes in using technology to get results. So his wife said, “You own MindSmack — you should do something to help people find bathrooms at malls.” And he did. MindSmack in December launched FastMall, a free iPhone application that guides shoppers through malls, provides information about store deals, and shows the locations of all the bathrooms on a FastMall map when you shake the phone.

FastMall also shows shoppers with strollers or in wheelchairs how to find elevators, and lets mall visitors announce via Facebook or Twitter that they’ve arrived at a certain store. Feuer, 33, sees the potential to build FastMall into the “Google of malls,” along with numerous opportunities for revenue-producing advertising and marketing deals. He spoke with The Record while demonstrating the FastMall app at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus.

Q. So your wife needing to go to the bathroom inspired FastMall?

Right. The goal was to find her a bathroom in a store or the mall as quick as possible. Then it evolved into something where you can actually get turn-by-turn directions inside of a structure without using GPS. We built it initially with GPS because we thought that would make the most sense. But GPS failed inside of most internal structures over time. So we went back to the drawing board as far as the mapping technology goes and built it without GPS.

Q. How does it work?

It’s kind of like Coke — I don’t want to give you the whole secret. There’s an algorithm involved. It’s called Dijkstra’s algorithm [a formula for finding the shortest route]. Google Map has three choices for routes: walking, biking or bus. So I said let’s give people a choice of fastest, escalator and elevator. This works exactly like Google Map, but for indoors. We can work with any brand or any mall company, like Westfield for example. We can put Westfield’s logo on the map of the mall, to brand it. That’s how you monetize the application.

Q. How many people have downloaded the app?

We’re at over 50,000 now. We’re exploding. It’s really from word of mouth. Your article alone will probably bring 15,000-20,000 new users because New Jersey’s the mall capital of the world.

Q. Malls like to control their information. What kind of reaction are you getting from the malls?

So far, every reaction we’ve gotten has been “We want to work with you,” or “How did you do this without us helping you?” There are so many other mall apps out there that are just a waste of everyone’s time. We begin where every other mall app ends.

Q. FastMall shows you restrooms inside stores. How did you get that information without someone scouting out each store?

We can get the locations of the mall bathrooms, but the locations inside places like Penney’s, that’s impossible to get. That’s where we’re relying on the community. If you click that button you can add a location of a bathroom. As we get 100,000 to a million users, which is coming, we’re going to get all that feedback.

Read the rest of the article on –

CoolSprings Galleria in Franklin, TN, Las Vegas Premiun Outlets in Las Vegas, NV, 2 more malls added to FastMall with interactive maps and shake iPhone for the nearest restroom.

Monday, March 29th, 2010

CoolSprings Galleria in Franklin, TN

Las Vegas Premium Outlets in Las Vegas, NV

Millcreek Mall in Erie, PA

Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt were just here so we had to complete the map immediately :)

Town and Country Village in Palo Alto, CA

Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt at Town and Country Village in Palo Alto, CA

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TechCrunch writer Leena Rao mentions FastMall in article.

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Other trends identified by mPlayit include the massive growth of location-based apps, with Loopt, Foursquare and Gowalla all receiving attention on the directory by users. But mPlayit says that even lesser known location-based apps such as FastMall and AroundMe on iPhone are receiving an increased number of downloads. Evernote continues to dominate on the Android, iPhone and BlackBerry platforms, in the Lists & Notes category. Barcode-scanning apps are also increasingly popular, holding the top Utilities category slot for iPhone and BlackBerry, and the second Shopping category slot for Android and iPhone.

The fact that that Android platform doesn’t support gaming as well as the iPhone is not new. But with the introduction of powerful Android devices such as Motorola’s Droid and most recently, Google’s Nexus 1, gaming apps and functionality has improved on the device. Especially now that both devices have multi-touch technology. That being said, it may take a bit longer for both developers and users to catch on.

MPlayit /2009/11/18/myplayit-launches-mobile-app-discovery-directory-on-facebook/”>launched its Facebook app that allows users to discover, share and recommend a variety of mobile apps back in November and covers apps available for the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Mobile (Java) devices. Mplayit’s directory of apps includes a dedicated page for each app where Mplayit will post videos of the app (created either by the developer or pulled from YouTube), a detailed description of the app and reviews. You can also click to buy the app from various app markets, including Apple’s App Store and the Android Market. Once you start clicking on various app and downloading apps, Mplayit will begin to recommend apps to you based on your behavior on the site.

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