Canon develops Flash player for cell phones

Canon and HI Corp., which makes 3-D image rendering software for cellular-telephone handsets, have jointly developed an engine that allows Macromedia Flash content to be played on mobile handsets.

The new player works on existing second-generation cell phones and allows playback of Flash animation at speeds of up to 15 frames per second, the two companies said in a statement. The software is the result of collaboration between HI and Canon Information Systems Research Australia, Canon's Australian research and design center.

HI will license the engine from the middle of this year as an optional part of its Mascot Capsule series of 3-D image rendering software. Japan's number-two cellular carrier, J-Phone Co. Ltd., is already using the Mascot Capsule software in all of its second-generation handsets.

With the basic engine completed, the two Tokyo companies are now looking to expand support to Macromedia Flash 4 and Action Script.

Canon also said it has paid ¥36.2 million (US$280,000) to increase its holding in HI to 10.75 percent

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