Sun launches cell phone Java standard

Here come stocks, games, weather and traffic reports

Sun has developed a standard for putting its Java software onto mobile phones. Called mobile information device, or more concisely MID profile, the standard promises to bring yet more stuff to the titchy screen of your mobile phone.

Did you know that you needed personalised stock quotes that can display graphs and give purchase or sell alerts delivered to your mobile? Well, have no fear for you shall have them. Other Java enabled services planned for your phone include up to the minute weather, restaurant locations, traffic reports, as well as downloadable games.

The idea behind the technology is that Java allows software to run on different devices without having to be specifically tailored for each one. However, in the past it hasn't worked on smaller, low memory devices. Sun has had to wait for screens to get bigger and processors to get faster before the pared down version would work on gadgety things.

Sun is touting this as the next step for consumers, away from text based static content, to properly interactive services. It is also being described as the first indication that the technology is shuffling into the real world, and out of the shadows of white-paperdom.

The MID profile will be used in cellphones from Motorola, Nokia, LG Electronics, Nextel and NTT DoCoMo, and handhelds from Research in Motion. Sun has also lined up a whole host of telcos to provide back-end services for the MID profile phones.

The MID profile standard is based on Java 2 Micro Edition. Other companies that plan to introduce MID profile enabled devices include Sony, Symbian, Matsushita, Siemens and NEC. ®

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