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Cell Phone Games News

November 19, 2004
Zi Corporation Enters the Mobile Gaming Industry on Gizmondo Handheld Console

Zi Corporation announced today that its advanced text input technology eZiTap is a core feature of the new Gizmondo multi-entertainment device from Gizmondo Europe, Ltd., a subsidiary of Florida-based Tiger Telematics

The Gizmondo handheld console has begun shipping in the United Kingdom and will be progressively rolled out worldwide during 2005; including, Europe and North America as well as Australia and New Zealand. Initially aimed at the18-34 year old market and skewing to a teen audience in mid 2005, Gizmondo is an interactive handheld entertainment device offering lifestyle content such as gaming, music and messaging. In addition to 3D gaming, MP3 music, Mpeg4 movie playing, a digital camera and GPS location capabilities, the feature-rich device has a General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) network link to allow wide-area network gaming, along with short message service (SMS) and multimedia message service (MMS).

"The versatility of the Gizmondo sets a new benchmark for mobile entertainment. Given the popularity of messaging with Gizmondo's core market, we paid particular attention to the text input capabilities of the device," said Carl Freer of Gizmondo Europe. "With eZiTap, texting is a much simpler, faster proposition. It provides a much more enjoyable user experience, which is a main element of Gizmondo's overall appeal."

Novice users through to the texting elite will find eZiTap especially useful for SMS messaging. Whether SMS lingo, a personal name or a unique word - eZiTap learns with each text entry providing quicker prediction and thereby quicker messaging for the user. This capability significantly reduces the number of key presses required, and makes messaging more fun and more accessible.

"This agreement with Tiger Telematics for the Gizmondo demonstrates how valuable predictive text technology is for handheld devices of all kinds," said Glen Morgan, Zi Corporation's senior vice president of global sales and marketing. "Gaming is just one of many markets Zi intends to penetrate as we extend the value proposition of our technology."

According to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, European mobile gaming market revenues could increase from US$800.8 million in 2002 to nearly US$7 billion in 2006. A contributing growth factor is the increased penetration of sophisticated handsets. The mobile gaming market is expected to represent approximately 5 percent of total wireless operator data revenues, equating to around 30 percent of total video gaming revenue, by year-end 2006.

Source: Zi Corporation

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