∞ Developer turns iPhone app into a brick and mortar business

Charleston, SC-based Slicker is taking its iPhone app to the streets, literally. The iPhone developer on Tuesday opened a brick and mortar location and is using its iPhone app as the basis for the business. slickerCharleston City Slicker takes users through a step-by-step tour of the historic city. Chris Metts, the owner of the company, utilized many of the iPhone’s technologies to give users an immersive experience while in Charleston.

The problem is that you can’t rely on the fact that visitors to Charleston will know that you have an iPhone app available to help them tour the city. So, Metts opened a location in the heart of the historic district that caters to the large tourism industry in the city.

“We can’t count on the App Store to do the marketing for us, we are a needle in the haystack there,” Metts told The Loop.

Metts is renting the iPod touch, complete with City Slicker, to tourists so they can tour the historic parts of the city. This isn’t just an audio tour though.

Slicker utilized location services in the iPhone, so the application knows where you are during the tour. The Charleston app also features over an hour of hi-definition video, interviews with experts associated with the sites you visit, and in some case, a look inside some of the buildings that are not available to tourists.

You can also view pictures of how buildings looked during the Civil War. So as you walk around and the audio part of the tour explains the importance of the building, you can look at your iPhone or iPod touch and see what it looked like back then.

There are very few developers I’ve talked to that have been as excited about their app as Chris Metts was today. But it’s more than just his enthusiasm that will make this app turn into a great business, Metts also believes in the city the app is based on.

I think this is the first time I’ve seen a developer take an iPhone app and be able to turn it into a brick and mortar business too. Truly, quite a feat.

Metts has several applications on the App Store including Rome City Slicker, London and Paris.

I wish I was in Charleston tonight as Metts opened the doors, so I could take an historic tour myself.