Symbian this week outlined the reference design for its wireless information device, codenamed Quartz, and announced a development agreement with IBM.
During a presentation that covered the future technologies managed by Symbian, Simon East, the company's vice president of technology, said there will be a shift from dial-up to packet-based wireless communications. "What will drive the industry is the combined weight of the companies," he said.
Symbian is a joint venture that includes Psion, Motorola, Matsushita, Ericsson and Nokia.
What makes Symbian's system tick is the reliable and robust design of the operating system, and its power and real-time performance, said East. The device is also scalable, customisable and easy to use.
Symbian product manager Martin Hill described key features and functionality of the Quart DFRD (device family reference design) - the company's pen-based communicator reference design. Quartz provides seamless interoperability between telephony and data, with intuitive usability, he said.
Hill demonstrated the task-based style of the software, including the list view and detailed view of various folders. "This provides seamless operations with a very few taps," he said.
The first release of Quartz is scheduled for the middle of this year and Hill expects the first devices to come to market before the end of the year. Developer kits for both C++ and Java will also be available by the middle of this year.
Symbian also announced the Symbian Competence Center programme, a worldwide partnership to drive the development of Smartphones and Communicators. ARM, Cadence, Digia, Dextra, Kanrikogaku Kenkyusho, Omron, Phoenix, Teleca, Vanteon, Wipro and Zi will provide technical, development and engineering support for companies developing Symbian-based wireless information devices.
IBM and Symbian announced a development agreement to create wireless applications for Symbian mobile phones and devices. Big Blue plans to provide software to support security and reliability in the data connections between the server and the handheld device. Symbian will provide the device's operating system. The companies did not announce a timetable for releasing the applications.
Symbian aims to promote wireless technology by advocating technology standards and interoperability between manufacturers.
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