Ericsson's Labs unveils mobile mapping platform

Evidence that Ericsson is determined to grow its software-related business has come with the release of its new Ericsson Mobile Maps platform. The development, a joint project between Ericsson's newly created Labs Portal and the mapping specialist Idevio, is the first to emerge from the Labs--a unit specifically established to open up Ericsson's key software projects to interested third parties.

The new Mobile Maps platform, which is based upon technology from RaveGeo mapping, geocoding and routing platforms from Idevio, is designed to offer developers a toolkit to build mobile applications with integrated map displays and functions such as locational search and directions. Idevio's Java-based technology currently powers the Locago open mobile map service, which has 600,000 users worldwide.

The Labs Portal unit is part of Ericsson's strategy to broaden its software reach into hosted multimedia services and open mobile frameworks--preferably cross-platform. At its launch in November, the company said its Labs Portal unit was to be the focus point for this software activity with the objective of gathering together all such projects under one umbrella.

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