NEC Corporation today announced that it has succeeded in the development of a Web page analysis engine that realizes ease of viewing of Web pages on a variety of terminals, such as televisions, PDAs, and mobile phones, despite differences in display resolution and screen size.
The layout analysis engine enables extraction of a layout structure that meets with the viewer’s needs instinctively. This is realized through the analysis of characteristics, such as the color, size, and position of the title and the multiple domains that constitute the web page, in addition to the formation of the HTML tag that defines the web page.
Enabling users to easily grasp an overview of the full contents of a web page and reducing the number of operations necessary to access sought-after information, this technology achieves ease of viewing even on small screens such as on mobile phones. This is realized by displaying digest pages, which consist of only titles, and detailed pages, which display the full contents related to each title separately.
Through this technology, the environment for web viewing can be actively expanded from personal computers to include home TVs and mobile phones etc. In addition, the necessity for contents providers to create various web pages depending on the individual terminal will become a thing of the past, in turn contributing to a significant reduction in creation costs.
The main characteristics of the layout analysis engine are as follows:
1) Title extraction: Through the development of a method for analyzing titles using styles, in addition to the types of HTML tags, the accurate extraction of web page title domains is enabled.
2) Layout analysis: Segmentation of web page display elements (blocks) is realized through the analysis of the HTML tag’s structure and position. In addition, extraction of the layout structure is achieved through the grouping of titles and their multiple related blocks.
As internet use becomes more and more a part of our daily lives, the need for web viewing on a variety of terminals increases. In response to these needs, a few methods have been developed to convert HTML tags into tags for mobile phones. Conventionally, as contents of a webpage were simply divided up, grasping an overview of information was difficult and accessing sought-after information required many operations and involved moving from page to page. This can be timely and frustrating. This new layout analysis engine will enable quick and easy access to information. By combining this technology with NEC’s own original display technology “semantic zoom” (1*) the automatic generation of web pages offering the same ease of display on small screens is enabled.
NEC will continue this research toward commercialization, and it also aims to improve accessibility through R&D in voice read over software technologies etc. These technologies will all contribute to the active use of mobile phones toward mobile offices, and smart homes that actively use the internet.
This technology will be displayed at NEC’s private exhibition iEXPO 2004 being held from December 1 – 3, 2004 at Tokyo Big Sight in Japan.
1* Semantic Zoom function enables ease of viewing of web pages on lower resolution terminals such as TVs, PDAs and mobile phones as compared with PCs, by installing original software on terminals. Even on smaller screens web pages can be viewed comfortably since the terminal can omit irrelevant information by determining heading and title through layout structure information given as XML data.
About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation (NASDAQ: NIPNY) (FTSE: 6701q.l) is one of the world’s leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of its diverse and global base of customers. Ranked as one of the world’s top patent-producing companies, NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 140,000 people worldwide and had net sales of 4,906 billion yen (approx. $47 billion) in the fiscal year ended March 2004. For further information, please visit the NEC Corporation home page at: www.nec.com