Posted on 14-Jul-2003 07:41
Filed under: News
Digital Airways is known for its Java browser Wapaka. Moving more into the mobile area, the company now released a GUI designer and manager for mobile phones.
The approach for this product is to leverage the Wapaka browser as part of the user interface, and run the mobile phone from there. Kaleido does not replace the operating system, but makes easier for manufacturers to distinguish between basic OS functionality and user interface.
Kaleido allows handset manufacturers to design and implement a dynamic User Interface (UI) on mobile phones. It offers flexibility and complete ease in defining, implementing and updating a phone's user interface, including over-the-air, without programming. With Kaleido, handset manufacturers dramatically reduce the cost and time-to-market of UI design and implementation, while gaining complete flexibility to produce customized phones.
The user interface has become a key challenge for handset manufacturers. "As phones increasingly take on more sophisticated functions, they risk becoming more complex to the user. At the same time, operators and content providers are looking for customization features to improve usability of services and promote branded content" says Philippe Silberzahn, co-founder and CEO of Digital Airways. "The user interface has become central to the success of new generation mobile services".
Until now, however, the UI has been implemented as a static layer over the operating system at manufacturing time. This approach made it complex and expensive for manufacturers to quickly respond to market changes and to adapt the UI to users' or operators' evolving needs.
With Kaleido, Digital Airways adopts a dynamic approach for the user interface: instead of hard-coding the UI into the software layer of the handset, Kaleido separates its definition from its implementation. This allows manufacturers to create handsets that can completely change their UI without re-programming. A new UI will only require a new description file, which can be produced in a few hours. Operators can even distribute the new description file with new menus using OTA deployment.
Kaleido comprises a suite of three products, which are called Kaleido Design, Kaleido Viewer and Wapaka UI Service.
Kaleido Design is a design tool that allows designers of mobile phones to create a user interface on a PC without programming. New menus, screens, behaviors or items are added with a simple drag and drop. UI features can be modified in minutes, and immediately tested for validation. Kaleido Design automatically creates the description file that is used to implement the actual UI on the phone.
Kaleido Viewer is a rendering application running on PC that lets the designer visualize a UI that been created with Kaleido Design. Kaleido Viewer is used to test the UI, discuss it among the design team and validate it.
Wapaka UI Service is a rendering engine that runs on the phone. It implements the UI as defined by the description file created with Kaleido Design. Wapaka UI Service is a UI-specific extension of Wapaka, Digital Airways' popular micro-browser.