MANHASSET, N.Y. Java-based programming took center stage this week in a handful of announcements.
First, a slew of well-heeled mobile-device suppliers gave their support to the final release of the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP), including Motorola, Nokia, Siemens, Sony, NEC, and Symbian. Designed to enable a more dynamic, personalized, interactive experience for wireless customers, the profile is based on the Java 2 Platform Micro Edition (J2ME) and essentially allows operators and content creators to differentiate their products and services through greater programming flexibility and service enhancements.
Separately, Zucotto Wireless Inc. (San Diego) released its Jacknife Development Suite, an integrated development environment that combines Java technology with wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, GSM, CDMA and 802.11. The suite can be used to develop embedded applications for a wide range of wireless devices, including cell phones, pagers, PDAs, automotive electronics and set-top boxes, Zucotto said.
To cement its position in the mobile arena, Zucotto also forged an alliance with PacketVideo Corp. (San Diego) that will see the companies work to port PacketVideo's MPEG-4-based video streaming technology to Zucotto's Xpresso Java processor.
The Jacknife suite of hardware and software tools support the development and testing of wireless Java device applications and services, and allow developers to get them to market faster and at less expense, Zucotto said. The suite includes the Whiteboard Wireless Java software development kit, the Xpressoboard hardware development kit, along with training, support and development services. The software kit includes the company's Slice software support layer, which incorporates an implementation of the J2ME technology.
Key elements of the software kit include a wireless device emulator, tools and optional Bluetooth communications boards. The hardware kit is comprised of a hardware evaluation board, peripherals, a software development platform, tools and documentation.
PacketVideo's multimedia software platform is an end-to-end solution designed to provide encoding, transmission and decoding services that support all major digital wireless telephony standards, while keeping an eye on next-generation technologies. Based on MPEG-4, the technology provides a common platform from which to accomplish the encoding/decoding function over error-prone networks.
"The agreement [with PacketVideo] is the result of growing interest in cutting-edge, Java-based wireless Internet applications," said Mark Wells, president and chief executive officer of Zucotto.
"Combining Java with MPEG-4 will allow service providers to deliver more robust and feature-rich video content over wireless networks," he said.
The Zucotto-PacketVideo alignment will commence with the porting of PacketVideo's wireless media software to Zucotto's Whiteboard software development platform. The next step will involve the integration of the PacketVideo software into Zucotto's Xpresso processor the first to combine Java with Bluetooth, Zucotto said.
The Zucotto-PacketVideo partnership echoed off the earlier Java MIDP announcement. Together, the two put Java at center stage of upcoming development efforts for wireless devices. With member companies such as Research In Motion, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, SmarTone, Far EasTone, Telefonica, Nextel, and One 2 One, the MIDP group and some 20 other companies have become partners in Sun Microsystems' Java Community Process in an effort to corner the wireless market.