Rating: Enables handsets to compete with digital cameras on more equal footing
A deal announced last week between Swedish mobile software specialist Scalado and OS vendor, Symbian, might sound a tad obscure but it will enable handsets to compete more equally with digital cameras.
If image quality improves – and, more importantly, the ability to edit photos inside the phone rather than externally on a PC is provided, then far more content will be generated by cameraphones.
You might be wondering what Scalado’s software actually does. The key is its Random Access JPEG technology. In a nutshell it compresses the photos while still leaving them accessible to the handset user.
So handset vendors will find that more photos can be stored on the handset itself without having to increase memory size. It also speeds up how quickly photos can be viewed on the handset’s screen.
What’s happened is that Symbian has decided to licence Scalado’s software so it will form an integral part of the Symbian OS. Handset owners won’t have to pay a thing.
The software will be slipped into existing versions such as OS v9.3 and V9.4 before being fully integrated into a future version by a combined team of Scalado and Symbian engineers.
Scalado’s CEO, Mats Jacobson, told me that he’d already made a few big deals with handset vendors but this agreement will put money into the pot to enable the company to grow.
He also wouldn’t reveal what other clever graphics stuff Sacalado is up to and “we don’t know yet what we can productise.”
I can see Symbian developers taking advantage of the facilities to create some very neat photo manipulation packages. Given the software is available separately now, they’ve got plenty of time before it is effectively built into every single Symbian phone shipped.