Psion Software Plc is looking to strengthen its presence in Japan with the opening of a new development center in Kanazawa and an agreement with software house Kanri Kogaku Kenkyusho Ltd. The deal will see the two companies develop mobile computing software based on Psion’s EPOC32 operating system (CI No 3,183) for Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers. The company says it’s been working with K3 to develop a Japanese Front End Processor, a tool for converting phonetic text input on a western style keyboard and delivering Japanese text in mixed Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana. It says that because the conversion engine and user interface are separate, it will enable third party editors and language variants to be developed and installed more quickly. Psion claims the software, which runs on EPOC32, is the first real-time intelligent front-end processor specifically designed for palmtop computers, smart phones and communicators. K3 says it has been in talks with a number of Japanese telecommunications companies interested in using EPOC32 on future wireless communications products. The two companies say they plan to release the Japanese FEP and a suite of Japanese EPOC32 applications sometime in the second quarter of 1998, no pricing was given.
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