One factor that prohibits me from adopting SMS is the fact that it, as a data medium, is so expensive to use.Â Twenty cents to send 160 characters to someone?Â That seems outrageous.Â However, in Europe and Asia, where voice calling is expensive due to voice tariffs, SMS is popular because in these areas it is a cheaper method of communication.Â However, SMS is in drastic need of revolution to take it beyond text in this age of audio and visual media on our mobile handsets.
Enter Palringo, a fantastic mobile IM service that works on many mobile phones including Windows Mobile, Symbian, and now BlackBerry.Â It supports many IM services including MSN, Yahoo!, AOL, and Google Talk/Jabber.
Rather than talk about the standard IM features Palringo has, what sets this service apart?Â One cool feature they offer is Voice IM or more commonly referred to as Push to Talk (PTT).Â You can think of this as a walkie-talkie on your mobile.Â Nextel and a few other telcos have been offering this type of service, but it has been expensive and out of reach for many customers.Â Palringo allows you to exchange messages via PTT.
In addition, you can send media messages including pictures, videos, and audio files.Â In my interview with founder and CTO Martin Rosinksi, he told me Palringo is out to bring us SMS 2.0 regardless of what handset, carrier, or country your friends are based in.
Palringo also has a Windows based client that allows you access to your media and messages while on a computer.Â Rosinksi said a Mac version is on the way.
In my opinion, we need to move beyond SMS as a way to send messages on our mobiles.Â With more and more consumers adopting smartphones, we should look to using our data plans as a condiut for mobile messaging.Â We IM on our computers all day without even thinking about it and it’s time to take this concept to the mobile world.Â My prediction: Within 5 years, mobile IM will almost completely replace SMS.
Does this type of service interest you?