Urban Airship now sends its notifications to any device, not just smartphones or tablets
The updated mobile marketing platform can create and transmit actionable messages to connected TVs or cars, smart appliances, point-of-sale displays or intelligent agents.
Up ’til now, Urban Airship’s mobile marketing platform has focused largely on notifications to mobile users.
But this week, the Portland, Oregon-based company is branching out and offering messaging to any platform. And those messages can generate actions as well as deliver information.
This omni-messaging is handled by a new service called Open Channels. Using this service, a marketer employs the platform to compose the messaging, create a link, segment users, set up A/B testing or set up and utilize a user profile.
Whereas before it sent messages to the mobile web, apps, message centers, mobile wallets or locked screens, now it can send messaging to connected TVs, Internet of Things smart appliances, email, intelligent agents like Amazon’s Alexa, point-of-sale displays, chatbots or any other platform. In a graphic from Urban Airship, its former range is the inner circle, and the outer circle shows the additional channels enabled by Open Channels:
Essentially, Senior Director of Product Marketing Bill Schneider told me, the recipient can be “any device that can display a notification.”
He added that “to our knowledge, this is the first [mobile] messaging platform that can deliver to any channel.”
Via an API, the messaging is sent to the destination channel, where the display is handled by that platform. The initial implementation of Open Channels will be as the first notification support in the revamped Apple News app. A user might receive a notification, for instance, that links to a New York Times story on a topic she follows.
Open Channels also allows Urban Airship to offer more than, say, a ping about a new story or a new discount. The company cites such possible use cases as physical stores using its platform to send a receipt from its point-of-sale register to a customer’s preferred device, be it a smartphone or a connected printer.
Or a notification might show up on your connected TV, for instance, that you left an unpurchased item in your shopping cart in an online store or that your garage door was left open.
Along with the Open Channels announcement, Urban Airship is also unveiling Open Profiles, an update of its profiles that collects real-time data about behavior and events from any source — websites, apps, point-of-sale, and so on — as opposed to the profiles’ previous concentration on mobile behavior and events.
The company is also adding predictive machine learning, which can be used to predict which app users are most likely to become inactive.