MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2009 (#42)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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124 MacDirectory CLOSER LOOK BLUERETRIEVER > A CLEVER SOLUTION TO A UNIVERSAL PROBLEM You know the feeling; that wave of panic that rolls over you when you realize that you may have lost your phone. You frantically scan the surroundings, pat yourself down and empty your bags. For a moment, nothing else matters. Hopefully you also know the feeling of relief that comes when you finally do find your phone. This relief is often followed by the realization of how valuable your phone really is. It's more than just the replacement cost, which can often be hundreds of dollars, but also the information that's on it and the outright inconvenience of it all. Unfortunately, for many, the relief of finding that lost phone never comes. Rather than turning up at the bottom of the bag or in that extra deep pocket, it was left in some public place, unidentifiable and with no hope of ever being reunited with its owner. But it doesn't have to end this way, not any more at least. Now there is a simple, effective, and best of all, a free mobile device retrieval service and it's called BlueRetriever. BlueRetriever is a privately funded start-up that has developed a clever solution to this universal problem by "merging the powers of technology and goodwill," as the firm puts it. It has created an intuitive system that allows finders of BlueRetriever protected devices to get in touch with the device's owner through safe and anonymous Web-based e-mail messaging. The system also gives owners an easy way to express their appreciation by rewarding the finder of their device with an e-gift card. The concept behind BlueRetriever is quite simple, really. Just about every mobile device allows users to customize their wallpapers. BlueRetriever taps into this functionality by generating cool and distinctive BlueRetreiver-branded wallpapers, each with a unique ID number. By displaying the wallpaper, the owner is essentially tagging his or her device with an identifying mark that is visible to a potential finder. If the misplaced or forgotten phone is picked up by a Good Samaritan, the wallpaper steers the finder to , where the finder is guided through a few simple steps that allow them to communicate with the device's grateful owner and arrange for return. If the owner has chosen, in advance, to express their appreciation for the finder in the form of a reward, a selection of retailers is offered to the finder during the process of reporting the phone. This list of retailers currently includes Starbucks, Target and Amazon. The finder is also given the opportunity to donate their reward to charity through Kiva, rather than receiving a gift card, if they so choose. How can BlueRetriever offer such a valuable service to such a wide audience, all for free? The answer is sponsorship. BlueRetriever doesn't collect fees from subscribers, nor does it generate revenue through loss retrieval or rewards. Instead, BlueRetriever is 100 percent sponsor supported. This model allows advertisers to benefit from exposure on the BlueRetriever site, as well as from the offering of goodwill to BlueRetriever subscribers. Subscribers, obviously, benefit from the peace of mind in knowing that they've dramatically increased the odds of getting their valuable mobile device back in case they ever happen to lose it. Currently, in addition to iPhone and iPod touch owners, BlueRetriever's patent pending service is also immediately available to owners of select BlackBerry, Palm and Google devices. Also offered is a generic wallpaper that can be used for mobile devices other than those specifically listed. BlueRetriever intends to continually increase the number of device specific wallpapers that it offers and will make such additions based on market offerings. So the next time you reach for your phone only to find that it's not there, there's no need to panic as long as you've got the protection of BlueRetriever. Registering your device is fast and easy and thanks to its cool Web interface you may actually think that it's fun. Check it out today because, as they know at BlueRetriever, "lost happens." Visit .

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