Fandango launches mobile tickets

Chris Caceres · March 15, 2010 · Short URL:

Technology lets movie goers download tickets to their smartphones instead of printing them

Fandango has taken another leap forward in the movie-ticketing market. On Monday it launched a new feature it's coined, the 'mobile ticket' program, which enables users to download a scannable barcode on their cell phones. 

Fandango has always been a pretty useful service.  The company has been enabling its users to purchase and print movie tickets online which is a great alternative to standing in line waiting to purchase tickets at the front kiosk of a movie theater.  Unless I spontaneously decide to go the movies, I pretty much always use Fandango for my movie purchases.  

The step onto mobile phones seems like an obvious move forward, for the movie ticketing company.  The feature wil work by letting users purchase their ticket online, then sending them a text with a link to the scannable barcode.  Although Fandango already has apps mainly built for smartphones including the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm, the company said this new barcode feature does not require a smartphone, since it's simply just an image being scanned from your phone screen.  

Fandango said mobile ticketing would be offered at no extra fee unless your carrier charges you for multimedia text messages.  The maximum ticket size is 30Kb and in most cases, takes about 30 seconds to receive.  

Unfortunately, the mobile ticket will only see a limited roll out to start.  Fandango said it would be available in eight markets around the country, with more to come.  Although the technology seems to be a step forward, it still feels a little dated.  The fact users actually have to have their cellphone screen scanned requires theaters to have a special scanner which can read these barcodes.  You figure with technology like Bluetooth, maybe a user could just walk through some sensor and send their ticket the same time, this imaginary technology I'm referring to would limit the mobile ticket to cell phones that are Bluetooth enabled, so physical ticket scanning is probably the most efficient way to go for now. 

Anyway, here's a ful list of where you can use mobile tickets.

    * New York: City Cinemas 1, 2 & 3, Angelika Film Center, East 86th Street Cinemas, Village East Cinema, Beekman Theatre, The Paris Theatre.
    * New Jersey: Manville 12 Plex.
    * Houston: Angelika Film Center.
    * Dallas/Plano: Angelika Dallas; Angelika Plano.
    * San Diego: La Mesa Grossmont Center, Clairemont Town Square Stadium.
    * Bakersfield: Valley Plaza 16.
    * Sonoma County: Rohnert Park 16.
    * Hawaii: Ward Stadium, Kahala Theater, Kapolei 16, Mililani Stadium.

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