NEW HIGH TECNOLOGY! Kalle Heiska science journalist
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03.03.2004

VTT speeds up the production of mobile software
Being one week ahead makes a great difference to the success of a mobile product

Under the leadership of VTT, methods are being created so that applications for mobile phones can be produced faster with better quality. These methods enable small companies to produce increasingly competitive mobile products, including games. Being even one week faster than a competing product can mean major international success, since the best selling mobile products costing from 3 to 5 Euro are loaded around the world thousands of times a week.

Internationally operating telecom operators sell useful and entertaining mobile applications, many of which have been developed by small companies. This business creates more revenue for the operators directly from the sales and indirectly from the growth in the operator's net traffic. The companies developing mobile applications benefit as well since they acquire an access to a large customer base otherwise inaccessible for small companies.

Pekka Abrahamsson, Senior Research Scientist at VTT, testing the VTT software to see the development on the Helsinki Stock Exchange real-time on his mobile phone. Soon he will also be able to trade on international stock market.
High resolution image
Photo: VTT
"We make our games so that they give the user a good game experience regardless of the mobile phone type", says Ville Haaramo of Sumea Interactive Ltd.
High resolution image
Photo: Sumea Interactive Ltd.
Mobile software production is affected by very different needs than conventional software production. A mobile product is usually the creation of the innovative co-operation of a small production team. The product has to be of high quality from the start so as to function in tens of different variations of existing and upcoming mobile phones. Major business success also requires carefully localized versions for different countries.

In order to succeed a small Finnish company developing mobile applications needs to make its production more systematic and efficient. Supported by TEKES, VTT, Sumea Interactive Ltd and Qprojects Oy, have begun to develop new production methods for mobile software. The value of this national project led by VTT is 280,000 Euro. A guidebook for mobile software companies around the world is also being compiled on the special features of mobile product development.

In laboratory conditions VTT has achieved very positive results with the first new production methods for mobile products. Programmers tested the methods and in eight weeks of calendar time they managed to develop a new mobile product from the scratch. The product is a real-time stock exchange application operating on the most common types of mobile phones. Active investors can obtain up-to-date exchange rates and news, set alerts and interactively trade on the stock market.

Sumea Interactive Ltd, a Finnish company with 25 employees produces and sells downloadable games for mobile devices. Ville Haaramo, Chief Operations Officer of Sumea, says that a company must be able to react systematically and still very quickly to the rapidly changing international markets for mobile games.

– The production projects for our games have so far been relatively short and intensive, and our programming teams have been small. The size of projects is indeed on the increase. The buyer of our games wants a good game experience regardless of the display size or phone performance, so games absolutely must be adapted to different mobile phone models. In addition to the game functions, the basic functions of the phones should go on undisturbed. The only way to successfully meet these challenges in a competitive way is to introduce new mobile software production methods that are faster and more flexible, says Haaramo.

More information:

VTT Electronics
Pekka Abrahamsson, Senior Research Scientist
Tel. +358 8 551 2160, +358 40 541 5929
pekka.abrahamsson@vtt.fi

Sumea Interactive Ltd
Ville Haaramo, COO
tel +358 50 320 6942
ville@sumea.com

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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