PDAs kickstart coffee culture in Australia

For many workers the morning coffee is an important ritual and with the use of mobile technology a Queensland-based small, but very mobile business has notched up a way of getting the precious drink to customers more efficiently.

Inspired by a TV advertisement showing a coffee machine on the back of a scooter, Darren Schultz, a former hairdresser, and Chris Collings - a chef - brought their mobile coffee business, Xpresso, to life.

"Our system was fairly basic when we first started in Brisbane four years ago," Schultz said. "Chris would make the coffee at the van and I would be 20 to 100 meters up the road getting the orders -- we had our own sign language system."

But 12 months later, when the partners decided to franchise the operation throughout Australia, the refinement continued and blossomed.

"We wanted to move the business forward and came up with more ideas so that we could sell more coffee and make our franchises more attractive," he said.

"We had a pen and pad ordering system, then we started using walkie-talkies, which worked well, but we found their noise off putting and we felt too much like security guards or policemen. SMS was too time-consuming and the walkie-talkies wouldn't work in lifts."