Change is BREWing

Change is BREWing

I've been writing about BREW since 2002 when Verizon Wireless announced that it was using Qualcomm Internet Services technology to power its "Get It Now" content download service. Back then, we still referred to BREW by its full name "binary runtime environment for wireless."  Yes, it was a mouthful.

Today BREW is part of the wireless nomenclature. We don't have to spell out the acronym because everyone knows what it is. But BREW is about more than just its early incarnation, which primarily focused on downloads. It is about both off portal and on deck content. It's about personalization and merchandizing. It incorporates new technologies such as speech recognition and location-based services.

Verizon, of course, is one of BREW's biggest carrier customers and at BREW 2007, John Harrobin, Verizon's senior vice president of marketing and digital media, took the stage and challenged BREW developers to help the operator overcome some of the challenges with mobile content by working on better merchandizing and retailing solutions such as barcode ticketing and mobile coupons.

Will Harrobin get his wish at BREW 2008? It certainly appears as if Qualcomm listened to Harrobin's requests. The company acquired content targeting solutions developer Xiam Technologies in March and is incorporating Xiam into its next generation of BREW. Xiam's My Personal Offers System targeting and personalization technology promises to individualize the user experience via relevant content offers and advertisements geared specifically to the consumer.

But Xiam isn't the only thing that Qualcomm will be talking about at BREW.  I also expect to hear Qualcomm talk about opening up BREW's ecosystem. With operators such as Verizon Wireless touting its "Any Device, Any Platform" agenda, many are wondering how BREW will fit into that vision. Thursday's keynote address by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs will probably hint at that.

We'll be bringing you all the news from the BREW 2008 conference next week. FierceMarkets is producing the BREW Times show daily at the BREW conference and we'll be posting all our coverage live at the FierceDeveloper  -Sue