Last month, Manhattan-based tech firm LBDS unveiled what it calls a “cutting edge” store directory that enables roving shoppers to search for products at nearby malls through their cell phones. Here’s how LBDS envisions it: Retailers open the LBDS Web portal to update the directory on current sales. When a shopper accesses the directory for an item, the store name and its location gets zapped into their phone roughly 10 seconds later via text message. LBDS President Tom Woodring says that retailers will spend $20 per month to open a Web portal in the directory.

“We see this service as a value-add to the retailers in any given mall,” says Woodring. “Retail landlords will become another target market as well.”