RealTime IT News

Ericsson Sets Up Asia's First CyberLab In Singapore

Ericsson has committed an investment of S$10 million over two years in setting up a CyberLab in Singapore to provide R&D in Asia-centric data applications, and Internet applications for emerging third generation (3G) telecommunications networks such as EDGE and WCDMA.

This is Ericsson's third CyberLab in the world, after Silicon Valley and New York, and will serve as a hub for coordinating research projects in Asia, said Frank Reichert, director of Ericsson Research, CyberLab Singapore.

CyberLab Singapore will be working with the local industry on developing future wireless data terminals and applications, Chinese language-based applications for information access and retrieval, and handwriting and speech-based navigation.

"In Singapore, we have established close and very successful working relationships with our partners. The effective knowledge transfer is a key component of our decision to set up the CyberLab here," Reichert said.

Ericsson started working with the Center for Wireless Communications (CWC), which is a research arm of the National University of Singapore, and Kent Ridge Digital Labs (KRDL) two years ago.

DelphiPad, a terminal prototype for demonstrating wireless multimedia applications, is the result of CyberLabs Singapore's collaborative efforts with CWC. To be designed by a local product design firm Lawton & Yeo Design Associates Pte Ltd, the prototype will be ready by end this year.

Besides developing future data terminals such as DelphiPad, CyberLab Singapore will also focus on developing Chinese language-based applications.

"This is the first time Ericsson has a group dedicated to look into Chinese [language] technology," said Tng Tai Hou, program manager for multi-lingual information access and retrieval at CyberLab Singapore.

He said CyberLab Singapore will be using existing technologies from Apple Computer such as its SpeechPen products which include the Chinese Dictation Kit and the Apple Chinese Integrated Suite.

CyberLab Singapore will also be using KRDL's multi-lingual processing and translation technologies.

These technologies will also contribute to the development of "knowledge navigation" which is defined by Gareth Loudon, program manager for knowledge navigation at CyberLab Singapore, as "how you search the Web using your handwriting and voice on a mobile device [without the use of a keyboard]."

"Everybody knows the paradigm of accessing information on the Web [using] desktops with large screens and keyboards. We need to look at new ways that we can interact with people and information from small devices. You naturally want to do so with your mobile," Loudon said.