Zi Corporation to unveil unique text entry innovations for the Asian market at CommunicAsia
June 1, 2004 – Zi Corporation (Nasdaq: ZICA) (TSX: ZIC), whose technology lies at the heart of more than 84 million mobile phones around the world, will showcase its unique predictive text entry innovations in Singapore this month from June 15 to 18 during CommunicAsia at Stand 5C1-07, Hall 5, in the Canadian Pavilion. The demonstration will include text entry innovations for China and India, the fastest growing mobile markets with the greatest potential; and new product features such as the world's first dual language text entry capability and other predictive text breakthroughs available in Zi’s eZiText® and eZiTap™ software. These new developments are part of what will be the widest range of product capabilities unveiled by Zi Corporation at an exhibition in Asia.
Zi will demonstrate its latest innovations in Chinese text entry. The latest version of eZiText Chinese introduces new learning and personalization features designed to make the complex Chinese language easier and faster to use on the phone’s limited 12-button keypad. Zi will also showcase its Hindi prediction text entry solutions. As the innovation leader in predictive text entry technology, Zi was the first to introduce predictive text input solutions in the Hindi language for the large, untapped Indian market.
Working with handset manufacturers, Zi’s mission is to facilitate the delivery of devices to market that address the language text input needs of any particular local user-base. This may be an established market such as Europe or North America, or an emerging market like India, Southeast Asia, Latin/South America or Eastern Europe. Regardless of the market, ease-of-use continues to be cited as a primary barrier to mass-market adoption of mobile data services. And Zi believes one of the biggest barriers to device usability is a truly localized text entry interface.
“New version features from Zi, such as dual language messaging, next word prediction, phrase prediction, and lingo entry and prediction are designed to improve the user experience of standard predictive text entry systems in the market today,” said Jacques LaPointe, director of product management for Zi Corporation. “Zi is about making text entry truly flexible and personalized to each individual user,” added LaPointe.
Zi’s solutions are available in more than 40 language databases and an additional 70 language interfaces to address the texting needs of the world’s population in over 130 countries. Zi has further extended its language capabilities with the introduction of dual language messaging. Dual language capabilities allow users to compose a message in a combination of two languages using simultaneous text entry and prediction. For example, a user would be able to input text in two different languages without the need to change menus. With dual language messaging, a user in the Philippines can compose a message in Tagalog; compose the next message in English; or compose a single message with a mixture of the languages, the latter a common activity amongst text messaging users in the Philippines. This same example is also applicable for users in other Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
"Predictive text continues to be a core requirement of every handset manufacturer and network operator. Our partnering business philosophy combined with our responsive customer support and product modularity are key factors to our success in collaborating with manufacturers and operators to provide the most user-friendly products for today and tomorrow's mobile phone subscribers," said Kam Ching, Zi Corporation’s Beijing-based regional sales director for Asia.
Zi Corporation is a truly global company, with more than 84 million handset units in the market worldwide that use Zi technology. In 2003 Zi took the mobile market by storm:
• On average, a new handset model incorporating Zi’s technology was released every two days in both 2002 and 2003. Today, there are more than 480 device models in the market embedded with Zi’s technologies.
• With over 100 handset manufacturing customers, eZiText is utilized by the majority of Chinese domestic handset manufacturers including Amoi, Capitel, Haier, Lenovo, Ningbo Bird, Putian, and TCL; by Korean manufacturers such as LG Electronics, Samsung, SK Teletech, and VK Corporation; and by Japanese manufacturers such as Fujitsu, Kyocera, and Sanyo for their export market needs.
• Zi’s expansion into other markets, including PHS, illustrates the far reaching value and need for predictive text input. Over 80% of the PHS handset manufacturers that produce PHS devices for the Chinese market employ Zi’s products, including UTStarcom, ZTE, Fujitsu, and Sanyo.
Senior personnel from Zi Corporation will attend CommunicAsia and will be available for scheduled interviews and to show their technology innovations in action. If you are interested in talking to Zi Corporation, please contact Bethany Caldwell or Helen Lyman Smith at +44 (0) 115 950 8399, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Notes to editors
China market growth: Growth in the number of mobile phone customers continues to rise rapidly in many markets worldwide, and China in particular. According to the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry, the number of mobile phone subscribers in China rose by 7.98 million in March alone, bringing the total to more than 290 million subscribers by first quarter ended 2004. In addition, as of March, the total number of mobile subscribers in China surpassed the number of fixed-line subscribers.
Emerging India market: India is an increasingly important wireless market as mobile subscription has increased more than 500 percent since January 2000. Mobile phone vendors are paying very close attention to India due to strong projections, such as reported by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), who predict the India market will grow to 120 million subscribers by 2008. With this large increase imminent, it is vital mobile phone vendors address the Hindi language interface. It is one of the official languages of India and actively used for both personal and business communication by more than one third of the nation's population, a figure in excess of one billion.
About Zi Corporation
Zi Corporation (www.zicorp.com) is a technology company that delivers intelligent interface solutions to enhance the user experience of wireless and consumer technologies. The company's intelligent predictive text interfaces, eZiTap and eZiText, allow users to personalize the device and simplify text entry providing consumers with easy interaction for short messaging, e-mail, e-commerce, Web browsing and similar applications in almost any written language. eZiNet™, Zi's client/network based data indexing and retrieval solution, increases the usability for data-centric devices by reducing the number of key strokes required to access multiple types of data resident on a device, a network or both. Zi supports its strategic partners and customers from offices in Asia, Europe and North America. A publicly traded company, Zi Corporation is listed on the Nasdaq National Market (ZICA) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (ZIC).
Certain statements in this press release that involve expectations or intentions (such as those relating to future deployments or planned cooperation) may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The information in this press release is based on Zi Corporation's current expectations and assumptions, and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Such risks include, among others, general business and economic conditions, competitive actions, continued acceptance of Zi Corporation's products and services and dependence on third party performance as well as the risks and uncertainties referred to in Zi Corporation's 20-F for the most recent calendar year that is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reader should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Zi Corporation does not assume any obligation to update such forward looking statements.
For more information:
Bethany Caldwell or Helen Lyman Smith
GBCS PR Ltd
+44 (0)115 950 8399
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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