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Mobile SVG at BitFlash Inc.

Rick Graham , BitFlash, Inc.

Copyright@ May 2001, BitFlash,Inc.


The research team at BitFlash has a version of SVG that we have created for research purposes called SdVG (Small Device Vector Graphics). An aging version of the research report was published for discussion at the SVG 2 inaugural. It can be viewed at:

This paper is a report on our efforts and is intended as an aid to the creation of a mobile spec., it is not in any way official or sanctioned by the SVG workgroup. It is already out of date, an official W3C Mobile Requirements document is being prepared at this time.

The specification outlined in this paper has been implemented (on small devices) and was demoed to the SVG workgroup at the inaugural meeting on June 11-13 here at BitFlash, Inc.

Table of Contents

1. Purpose
2. Personal Digital Assistants Explored
3. Graphical Demonstrations in SVG
      3.1. Palm / HandSpring Visor / Rim BlackBerry / Agenda VR3de
      3.2. Actual SVG Samples
4. Discussion
5. Conclusion

1. Purpose

This document is an overview of some of the demos that the BitFlash Research group has created to test SdVG.

2. Personal Digital Assistants Explored

Rim BlackBerry 857/957
Agenda VR3
Handspring Visor (Prism)
Palm IIIc
Compaq iPAQ H3150
Compaq iPAQ H3650
32-bit Intel386
32-bit NEC 66MHz MIPS
Motorola Dragonball VZ 33MHz
Motorola 68328 20MHz
32-bit RISC Intel StrongARM SA1110 206MHz
32-bit RISC Intel StrongARM SA1110 206MHz
5MB flash + 512Kbytes RAM
16MB flash + 8MB RAM
flash + 8MB RAM
16MB Flash + 16MB SDRAM
16MB Flash + 32MB SDRAM
Operating System
RIM 2.0
Agenda Linux OS
Palm OS v3.5
Palm OS v3.5
Windows powered Pocket PC
Windows powered Pocket PC
160x160 - graphic LCD b/w, user-selectable 16 or 20 line display
160x240 - monochrome LCD 16 grayscale, digital contrast control
160x160 - 16-bit (65536 colors)
160x160 - 8-bit (256 colors)
240x320 - 15 grayscale, semi-transmissive graphic STN (supertwist nematic) LCD
240x320 - 12 bit (4096 colors), touch-sensitive reflective thin film transistor (TFT) LCD
Software Agent
mime email-attachment viewer (BitFlash, Inc.)
X-Windows viewer
WAP Browser
base viewer test platform
WAP Browser
WAP Browser
embedded RIM wireless modem
external PalmModem accessory
external option
external option
Input devices
optimized keyboard + thumb wheel
onscreen keyboard + stylus, 7 push buttons, external keyboard
touch screen + stylus
touch screen + stylus
touch screen + stylus
touch screen +stylus
Audio input/output
notification: tone, vibrate
notification: buzzer; external headset with microphone
built-in microphone
record and playback (MP3 music or audio from the Web) built-in microphone, headphone jack, speaker
record and playback (MP3 music or audio from the Web) built-in microphone, headphone jack, speaker
Docking/charging cradle
QuickSync cradle, IrDA port, RS-232 port, Agenda peripheral port
HotSync cradle, USB port or serial, IR port (infrared beam), Springboard expansion modules
HotSync cradle, serial port, IR port (infrared beam)
Microsoft ActiveSync® 3.1
Microsoft ActiveSync® 3.1
5.11" x 3.28" x 0.62" in
5.11" x 3.28" x 0.62" in
less than 5 ounces (including battery)
4 ounces (without batteries)
6.9 ounces
6.8 ounces
5.76 ounces
6.3 ounces

3. Graphical Demonstrations in SVG

The following demonstrations are all SVG files (text) displayed on the various PDAs without the use of any device specific plugins. The files were not altered in anyway before porting to specific devices.

These images were created by scanning the devices on a flatbed scanner.

We have implemented simple animation (see the SdVG document), but unfortunately there is no way to show you.

3.1. Palm / HandSpring Visor / Rim BlackBerry / Agenda VR3de

Palm IIIc HandSpring
Rim BlackBerry
iPAQ 3150
iPAQ 3650

3.2. Actual SVG Samples


For proper viewing of actual svg samples, please ensure that you have installed an svg viewer. If the svg samples above do not show, you can install SVGview.exe version 2.0 from Adobe. I don't think there is a unix plugin available on anything, if you click on the title link you can download and view the actual SVG source or display it in another viewer (like Batik ).

4. Discussion

Software is C/C++ on all of the devices listed, a Java version exists. The SVG is parsed from XML and a DOM tree is built on the device in each case. Some of the demos were simple animations. Other XML grammars and capabilities (besides SVG) are being experimented with. Other devices are in the porting queue including various cell phones.

5. Conclusion

BitFlash will continue to work with these and other devices as an official specification emerges. This is a research project and as such there is no plan yet regarding the release of any of this software.