Volvo Puts Itself in Mobileplay’s Hands

LOS ANGELES Working with Mobileplay, Volvo has become the first automaker with a fully featured car “configurator” for hand-held devices, according to the company.

CEO James Ryan said his San Francisco company developed the standalone application for Treo, Blackberry and Windows Mobile Smartphone-enabled devices to use pre-loaded content for quicker downloads.

Users can change the color, interior and exterior packages of the Volvo they are considering buying to see how the options affect the sticker price, Ryan said, just as they would on a more advance Internet-based system. The mobile application even generates leads for dealers, he said.

Ryan said Mobileplay, which has partnered with USA Today, Sporting News, Business Week and Weather.com, is enjoying a period when relatively new mobile devices have users hungry for material to download. “A lot of content out there is paid,” Ryan said. “And what people are looking for is an ad-supported system such as ours.”

The company, which started as the game specialist Moventum, is also working with Microsoft on its “Evolution” campaign with a mobile game in which dinosaurs chase technology-challenged office workers around their cubicles.

Volvo, a division of Ford’s Premiere Auto Group, is headquartered in Irvine, Calif.