As the march towards rich-media solutions for mobile continues, some parts of the evolution remain a challenge – such as common standards and digital rights management. But the Java virtual machine offers several advantages for the carriers, device manufacturers, content developers and end users. This week’s program digs into the details with Tim Smith, managing director of Hello Network Asia. *Disclosure Note* HNA has been an active technology partner for WWJ since our inception. However we strongly feel that this support should not exempt the company from fair coverage of their recent successful mobile application deployments. Full Program Run-time 17:20
The growing pains on the wireless Internet in many ways mirror the early days of fixed line for the PC. The current clash is between carriers and hardware manufacturers with content, service and application developers -and ultimately the end line users – all caught in a fragmented mix of business models and delivery protocols. The solution may well lie in a common API standard that has already been track-proven on the wired side: Java.
The increasing demand for rich media contents coming from all sides also poses an even greater challenge in terms of Digital Rights Management. As Tim Smith was keen to point out when we sat down with him for this interview recently in Shibuya:
“..digital rights management is a very big issue when it comes to distributing content to a handset.. the music and movie companies really don’t want their media to be shared in a peer to peer manner.. this is one area where a java application really helps.. users cannot share downloaded materials.. in any way shape or form”
In today’s program, Tim speaks about Hello Networks Asia’s experience in Japan since entering the market here 3 years ago, and on how they have fine-tuned streaming Java apps for wireless deployments in Europe, the US and Taiwan. His comments also refer to why HNA have yet to roll out in what Smith calls their “Top Secret Development Headquarters” Japan.
The merits of helloMobile as stated on the company website:
Java™-based streaming media is the next step forward in streaming technology. Its advantage lies in its ability to eliminate conflict, confusion, and compatibility issues. By streaming the media player in front of the content, the viewing experience is seamless for the user – all upgrades are dynamic and network operators are freed from expensive hardware-based solutions that require embedded chipsets while customers need not worry about device incompatibility.
It should be interesting to see how the Java deployments on Japanese carriers shake out over the next year; Java has already become the next wireless cash cow. One thing is certain: with so many competing interests, streaming Java is well-positioned to become a global standard for rich media content. It looks like Hello Network Asia could be in for a wild ride.
— The Editors