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HipLogic unveils home screen platform at Mobile Internet World

BOSTON -- HipLogic will offer a service for consumers, letting them customize the "phonetop" -- the home screen on a mobile phone -- with personalized applications and content designed for mobile consumption.

The new platform is built to be portable across any mobile operating system, from smartphones to feature phones by manufacturers including Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and others.

"We want to give the consumer the ability to make it a phonetop of their own," said Mark Young, cofounder/chief technology officer of HipLogic, Fremont, CA. "With our platform, the phonetop should be a blank space.

"It should be innovated by consumers, and it should be innovated by brands," he said.

HipLogic gave the first-ever public demonstration of its mobile phone service at Mobile Internet World.

The company released its software development kit, orSDK, free of charge to developers this week.

HipLogic's technology was developed by key members of the innovation team at Sun that built J2ME, now deployed on approximately two billion handsets.

The HipLogic founders saw the limitations of Java and have created a mobile experience providing always-on, fast access and logical presentation of content and applications that are cumbersome to access through current mobile phone browsers.

HipLogic is focused on solving the problems of content discoverability and access in the mobile environment, making it easier to find content consumers regularly access without having to sift through search links on a mobile browser.

Once a consumer selects the content they want to reside on their phonetop, HipLogic's "smart-pull" technology updates and presents it so the consumer no longer has to search for it.

The company's pitch is, rather than saying to consumers, "Here's the Internet, go find what you want," they're saying, "What do you want from the Internet? We'll deliver it to you."

The technology behind this service has been three years in the making.

In order to deliver consumers a full breadth of applications for the phonetop, HipLogic's engineering team has created a custom development platform called mobiJAX, which is based on industry standard JavaScript and XML technologies.

It can be fully integrated into a range of applications such as Web/WAP, Web services, J2ME and native applications.

Applications written for the mobiJAX platform are portable across various open and closed phone operating systems.

The mobiJAX SDK is now available free for developers, providing an open environment for third parties to easily and rapidly develop content and applications.

HipLogic is working with major media companies to develop applications that showcase their content.

The HipLogic service will be available to consumers in the U.S. and Europe in the first quarter of 2009. At that time, HipLogic will announce its content and distribution partners.

The company also declined to specify its monetization strategy or say whether or not it would host mobile advertising.

HipLogic did reveal that approximately 80 percent of the applications would be free to the consumers.

The other 20 percent will be premium applications that the consumer will pay for, although the company did not specify if it would be a pay-per-download model a là Apple's App Store or a subscription model.

HipLogic was founded in 2005 to redefine the mobile experience by offering a simpler, faster and more personalized experience on the phonetop.

"Ultimately it's all about the mobile experience on the device," Mr. Young said. "If you look at the iPhone, if you look at Android, why do people get excited?

"It's the experience," he said.