Today’s cell phones can do a thousand things it seems, including now quickly order books. That is, if you order through ShopText. According to Publishers Weekly, “The Manhattan company ShopText, founded in 2005, lets people buy products instantly using SMS (i.e., Short Message Service, or cellphone text message), and has just started selling books.”
It’s actually a little more complicated than that. Here’s the scenario as explained by blogger DigitalSolid: “You’re paging through a magazine or newspaper, or you encounter an out-of-home ad (even, perhaps, a digital billboard), and you decide you simply must have that product. You type a six-digit short code into your cell phone, send the number a text message with a keyword, and after a verifying second text is received and replied to, your product has been ordered.”
Imagine sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic or on the commuter ride home and you remember you want to order a book you saw in an ad. You don’t have to wait to get to the bookstore or go online to find it, you simply take out your cell phone and send a text message. And, of course, it applies to more than books: music, artwork, all kinds of cool merchandise and impulse buys. It’s even an easy way to donate to charities!
This is just the beginning. My bet is, some day we will even be able to text message the milk and bread for pick up on the way home or -- in the best of all worlds -- pick up on the doorstep as we arrive home!