…Argogroup's transcoding software offers solution to impending European 'format fight'…
Argogroup today announced a significant breakthrough in its efforts to enable the pervasive
publishing of content across multiple mobile Internet platforms with the announcement of the
release of its UbiquinoXTM AnyMobile transcoding software. This release eliminates the
'language barrier' between competing mobile platforms by allowing, for the first time,
content published for Japan's market-leading DoCoMo's i-mode service to be automatically
re-formatted for the two other national mobile Internet services - J-Phone's J-Sky and KDDI's
EZ Web. This ability to publish content seamlessly across different platforms will be crucial
to the European market in future as different mobile services lay claim to consumers'
David Frodsham, CEO, Argogroup said, "With the new version of AnyMobile, the Japanese
developers who have created 40,000 applications for i-mode can now offer their services to
the 13 million Japanese customers of EZ Web and J-Sky - without re-writing a single line of
code. AnyMobile will automatically re-format these services in real-time, dramatically
reducing the time, cost and effort required in bringing new services to a mass-market. The
experience that Argogroup has gained in developing this capability will be of immense value
to network operators and content providers in Europe and the US as different mobile platforms
start to compete in a mobile Internet market. It is vital that all content publishers view
the language that a phone speaks as simply an attribute of the device that the Internet
operating system takes care of, when we create a document, we don't worry about the language
the printer is speaking and we should do the same for mobile devices."
The technical challenge solved by Argogroup's AnyMobile software is the dynamic reconfiguring
of content so it can be viewed on devices using different mark-up languages. A mark-up
language is simply a set of rules governing how content is formatted (marked-up): the problem
in Japan is that the three competing services all use different mark-up languages (i-mode
uses CHTML, EZ Web uses HDML and J-Sky uses MML). Prior to the release of AnyMobile, these
'format fights' meant developers were unable to create ubiquitous services without the
expensive and time-consuming process of re-coding applications.
In Europe, mobile Internet services to date have been dominated by WAP and the WML mark-up
language. However, a new XHTML standard has been approved for use with the next generation of
mobile services and NTT is looking to extend the success of i-mode in its native Japan to
other geographies, meaning that the CHTML language is likely to become a factor in the
European market. Consequently, Europe is very likely to face similar format fights and the
same problems of heterogeneity that Argogroup has successfully solved in Japan.
Frodsham continued, "The emergence of new classes of mobile device - smart phones, pagers,
PDAs - and the increased competition for mobile services mean simply that diversity will be a
fact of life for anyone involved in the mobile Internet industry. With the release of Device
Targeter last month, Argogroup took a huge step towards eliminating device diversity as a
problem; these new releases of our AnyMobile product graphically illustrate how we are going
to address the issue of platform diversity. Eliminating the language barrier between mark-up
languages is a key milestone in the quest to make pervasive publishing a reality."
Argogroup is now releasing its UbiquinoXTM AnyMobile Appliance Solution, a 'plug and play'
server that automatically transcodes data published for i-mode to conform to the HDML
specifications of KDDI's EZ Web service. AnyMobile also provides the same transcoding
capabilities for the J-Phones, J-Sky service.
Notes to Editors
With its new product, AnyMobile2.0 Appliance Solution, Argogroup has succeeded in making
three major improvements to AnyMobile 1.2.
Through complete coding in C++, and generative algorithms for markup language using
artificial intelligence instead of simple conversion of tags, AnyMobile 2.0 realizes faster
conversion operations and higher performance. By this means, AnyMobile2.0 meets the needs of
sites with rapid data processing requirements, such as B2C portal sites.
Through object-oriented programming, with independent structuring of internal modules, high
scalability is achieved. This enables compatibility with XHTML, which is expected to become
the future standard, and connectivity with other Argogroup products.
Pre-installation of AnyMobile2.0 on a dedicated server and integration with hardware provides
enhanced convenience regarding introduction, management, maintenance, and security.
Consequently, introduction is easy, irrespective of mobile platform.
Also, in order to support the introduction of new phone types in response to consumer needs,
Argogroup maintains profiles of each device ensuring that content is automatically matched to
the capabilities of the device to which it is sent.
Argogroup are the leaders in device intelligence for the wireless Internet. By collecting
information on the capabilities and limitations of all of the wireless Internet devices in
the world, Argogroup is able to provide services and products that make it easier to build
compelling applications. Argogroup's mission is to use knowledge of devices to make it
easier to develop wireless content and to improve the user experience.
Argogroup headquarters are near Guildford, UK, and field offices are in London, Silicon
Valley, Stockholm, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Argogroup employs 80 people world-wide. Argogroup
is a member of the WAP Forum and the W3C, and is part of the OpenGroup MMF, the Bluetooth™
Special Interest Group, Openwave Systems Alliance Program, the Ericsson, Nokia Artus and
Orange developer programs.
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