Kyocera Unveils Dual-Mode Prototype

Kyocera Wireless and Boingo Wireless announced the demonstration of a prototype Kyocera BREW-based dual-mode Wi-Fi/CDMA handset with integrated Boingo public Wi-Fi roaming at the CTIA Wireless 2006 trade show in Las Vegas. In a real-world setting, network operators and MVNOs can optimize the dual-mode handset’s application suite to automatically choose the appropriate mode, based on environmental and performance preferences.

TOKYOPOP – Manga to Go

TOKYOPOP Inc., has teamed up with uclick, LLC, a leader in mobile entertainment, to bring “TOKYOPOP Mobile Manga” to mobile phone users worldwide. This unique, downloadable manga application plays manga titles in their original multi-panel format on mobile phones. uclick has developed a new JAVA and BREW subscription application that offers new manga content every day. With a clean, rich graphic presentation coupled with a simple user interface, the manga application puts this popular Japanese art form into the hands of dedicated fans looking for that dose of manga on the go.

KDDI Announces Mobile WLAN Systems

Targeting the enterprise market, KDDI has announced two VoIP telephony solutions: AirIP’s Office Freedom, designed to operate using the newly released E02SA handset via 802.11g, and Fujitsu’s Mobile Office, which appears able to run on a wider range of handsets using a BREW application. The Office Freedom system also suggests that GPS functionality will be available to track employee current locations… and recent movements!

ACCESS NetFront Browser in 11 New Sanyo Handsets

ACCESS Co., Ltd., a global provider of mobile content delivery and Internet access technologies, today announced that its NetFront browser has been deployed in 11 SANYO handset models available in regions throughout the world including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand. Powered by NetFront browser, SANYO handsets represent some of the best-selling devices available from SANYO’s mobile operator partners. NetFront has been selected as the browser technology for 11 SANYO handsets, which include the SCP-8300, SCP-9000, SCP-7500, SCP7400/QW, SCP-4920/QW, SCP-8200/QW, SCP-2300/NZ, SCP-9000/NZ, SCP-2300/CA, SCP-8300/CA, and SANYO MVP models.

Sanyo and KDDI Introduce 3 New Sweet Handsets

Sanyo and KDDI Introduce 3 New Sweet HandsetsBuilding on the original teen-targeted Sweet handsets first introduced in January 2005, the companies have just announced three new models for release starting 1 February. One of the key features included in the first series was a GPS-aided application that included user location data in email sent from the phone (so that parents would know whether young Yukiko-chan was actually at juku (cram class) — or not). The second gen of these handsets goes a few steps further to include that function as well as the new Voice Input application and Hello Messenger, for starters. The latest CDMA 1X (3G) Sweet-series all have 1.3-megapixel cameras, are both BREW- and Flash-enabled and include a built-in security buzzer that boasts a screaming 98dB alarm in case of emergency.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature that was announced, and missed by most other mainstream media, was the new OCR feature. You use the phone’s camera to scan text, such as an email address, URL or phone number, which can then be easily added to the onboard address book; this is a very handy feature. There is also a new “Camera Dictionary” BREW application that will also scan — and translate — English text into Japanese kanji characters as well. Now that is Sweet!

Safety features for children is a growing market niche and this series should prove very popular with both youthful customers and their parents (subscribers log in for full feature descriptions from the press release).

KDDI's EZ Channel at CEATEC

KDDI's EZ Channel at CEATECCEATEC, otherwise known as ‘Disneyland for mobi-keeners,’ is possibly planet Earth’s most intense concentration of mobile goodies. KDDI’s “EZ Channel” system, launched together with flat-rate data billing and the high-speed 1X EV-DO “WIN” 3G network in late 2003, is one of the few content services optimised for the network’s 2.4-Mbps nominal speed. WWJ went to CEATEC to grab the details on EZ Channel, which includes a unique overnight download feature that makes use of the quietest time of the day to deliver up to 3 megabytes of video programming to subscribers’ handsets while the network snoozes.

The EZ Channel service allows subscribers to select 3 programs from a menu of 53 channels (by end-October 2005), including news, weather, sports and entertainment favorites such as “Chaku Uta Ranking” (Label Mobile), “Sponge Bob Mobile” (Viacom) and Disney Mobile Wave. A single channel typically runs up to 1MB, and is refreshed 1-3 times per week (some, like weather, are new daily).

Namco Offers SEGA Video Gametones

Through a licensing agreement with SEGA of America, Namco America today announced the availability of SEGA’s classic game sounds as ringtones. SEGA’s game tones will be available initially through Namco’s PAC-MAN’s Arcade Corner, an interactive ringtone application with a colorful, retro feel and a source for exclusive video game ringtones. The game tones are available now on BREW carriers, including Verizon Wireless, Alltel and Western Wireless, and will be available on other carriers in the future.

Tokyo Game Show 2005

Tokyo Game Show 2005

Packed with international game and console makers out to show the press and public just what they can do, the Tokyo Game Show opened yesterday for a three-day run at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe Convention Center. Eager to showcase their mobile gaming platforms, DoCoMo set up a giant booth splashed in black paint over yellow for a "street style" look. Multiple mobile play stations circling the entire area had event goers lined up ten deep to try out mobile games like Monster Hunter, Sonic, Gundam, and many more. Everyone who plays a game receives different free collectible badges that fit into a DoCoMo badge folder — also free — guaranteeing big crowds here. Last year DoCoMo enjoyed great success with a similar system that handed out collectible cards for each game.

Many handsets come with games already pre-loaded. The new DoCoMo N901iS, for example, has Dragonquest II (from Enix) pre-installed and ready to play. One of the most popular games was a mobile version of Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog in playable demo form. Sonic will come bundled with one FOMA 901i-series phone starting this winter. An engaging game even on mobile, the movements and execution on the FOMA were reminiscent of the old Sega Genesis edition of Sonic. Capcom’s Monster Hunter, another popular game, will be exclusively on DoCoMo phones for a short time this winter but will soon migrate to other carriers’ game platforms according to a DoCoMo spokesman.

Opera Browser for the Hitachi W32H

Opera Software announced yesterday that their browser is included on the Hitachi W32H for KDDI’s 3G network in Japan. The release of this new, BREW-based mobile phone coincides with the one-year anniversary of Opera Software’s agreement with KDDI. The Hitachi W32H will be released in September and is the fifth mobile phone with Opera delivered by KDDI within one year. Opera Software announced its agreement with KDDI in August 2004 and together they shipped the first phone in December 2004, making Opera the first full Internet browser on the Japanese 3G network.

ACG Gets Kyocera KX5 Slider

The Associated Carrier Group (ACG) and Kyocera Wireless announced the debut of the Kyocera Slider Remix KX5 wireless phone. The feature-rich, music-enabled handset is exclusively offered for a limited time by the recently united ACG, and is also the first phone offered by the alliance. “By forming the ACG alliance, our members collaborate with manufacturers – like Kyocera – to provide cutting-edge products, quicken market entry and to leverage costs,” said Greg Latour, president of ACG. “It’s proving to be a smart and successful alliance for our member companies, which ultimately benefits our customers. We are pleased to be the first in the U.S. to offer the Slider Remix.”