Futuristic tales of walking past a clothes or food store and receiving an SMS message on the mobile phone announcing the latest discounts and sales are now commonplace. Vindigo, one of United States SMS service providers, has a multiapplication facility that provides maps, movie guides, restaurant critiques, and the like. Liddle (2001) says that the company's 300,000 users can benefit from the service in 19 cities. The utilization of location-based information enables the growth of m-commerce applications that accurately direct individuals to a store. Customers benefit from time savings since they are guided there. On the other hand, this type of application can also be a source of nuisance to users if they are overwhelmed by advertisements from various stores each time they step into a mall. To avoid this, users ought to be allowed to specify what information they are interested in receiving and to be allowed to filter or switch off the service if they wish to do so.
In Australia, Coca-Cola, and Telstra have teamed up to run a trial system through which mobile users can dial a Coke vending machine for a drink. The trial involves Coca-Cola vending machines in a Sydney Railway station and allows a Telstra postpaid customer to dial the phone number of one of the participating vending machines from their mobile phone to purchase a drink. The price is credited to the vending machine after the number is dialed , and the subscriber can select the drink he wishes to have. This service is not based on SMS but on the call placed by the subscriber. In Malaysia, however, TMTouch plans to use SMS technology where their prepaid customers may buy a drink from a vending machine via SMS. The price for the drink is debited from their prepaid account.
A university in New Zealand provides a service via SMS that allows students to check their examination results using their mobile phones. Since exam results are usually released during semester breaks, this service conveniently allows students to check their results using their mobile phones without requiring them to connect to the Internet via a desktop. The information provided to the students, however, is limited to their current GPA and CGPA due to the screen size limitation.