Sony Ericsson's technologies

Sony Ericsson shows off latest technologies

Mobile handset giant Sony Ericsson showcased a number of new and emerging technologies at its Lund headquarters this week, designed to improve productivity for mobile corporate users, allow developers to create more compelling applications and give firms new ways to reach out to customers.

Sony Ericsson will team up with mobile music subscription specialists, Omniphone, for its PlayNow Plus service which will also provide users with an option to pay-as-you-go format. The PayNow Plus deal will enable users to have unlimited access to the five million, or so, DRM-free tracks. This breadth of music is significantly more than what Nokia can offer and is beginning to get closer to the eight million tracks now available within Apple's iTunes library.

The deal is seen as a preemptive move by Sony Ericsson to challenge mobile rival Nokia who are to release their touchscreen mobile phone on October 2. The new Sony Ericsson phone is scheduled to launch in Telenor, Sweden on a special edition of the W902 Walkman phone. Other countries and operators are no doubt waiting in the wings.

Presenting the technologies, Sony Ericsson chief technology officer Mats Lindoff argued that recent advances in mobile technology, including increased processor power, improved connectivity and convergence of devices, have all " opened the way for innovation" in the space.

"The idea was to put Java and Flash together and let each do what it is good at," said Lindoff. "It lets the designers, not the software engineers, define the user interface."

The firm is looking to share Capuchin technology with the developer community, possibly through open sourcing the technology, added a Sony spokesman.

Some of the pilot applications created using Capuchin include an FM radio tuner and a homescreen display in which the mobile icons appear to be floating on water.

Sony Ericsson engineers also showed off Near Field Communications projects, which could be used by firms in internal or B2C scenarios.

The technology could be used by firms to enable the fast, user-friendly delivery of content to a mobile device. This could be event information, multimedia downloads or other type of content.

Finally, Sony Ericsson showed off its Hanashi project. This is a new online client which enables mobile devices to connect to each other and therefore share data, even if they are not online.

"Everyone says the future of [mobility] is IP, but there are no IP addresses on the phone so how can I connect?" argued Lindoff. "Once you do, though, there are tons of applications you can develop."

One use case involved an NFC tag placed at the entrance to a meeting room, which users can swipe when entering to instantly change their phones' profile, or to bring up calendars and other relevant business-related information.

Firms could also use the tags to promote and sell their goods and services, said a Sony Ericsson spokesman. Swiping a tag near an advertising display, for example, could immediately trigger a consumer's mobile browser to display your company's homepage.


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