It might not put a fully fledged digital movie on a futuristic mobile phone, ‡ la the Nokia TV ad, but a software engine developed by Canon and 3D image specialist HI will play Macromedia Flash content on current mobile handsets.

The new player works on existing second-generation mobile phones and allows playback of Flash animation at speeds of up to 15fps (frames per second). The software engine is the result of collaboration between HI, which makes rendering software for mobiles, and Canon's Australian research and design centre which has a 10.75 percent shareholding in HI.

HI will license the engine from the middle of this year as an optional part of its Mascot Capsule series of 3D image-rendering software. This software is already being used by J-Phone, Japan's number two cellular carrier, in all of its second-generation handsets.