Feeds

Venture capitalists mob Cannes bandwagons

Over-the-air and games provoke excitement

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

3GSM Nothing flags a bandwagon more than a mob of venture capitalists trying to climb aboard. Cannes has them in hordes for the 3GSM Congress this year. Games - that's definitely a bandwagon. Over-the-Air is another. Camera technology is spreading. Here's a little sampler:

Infra-Worlds, a French games specialist, believes that peer-to-peer gaming is going to be the magic that generates air traffic. Following the pioneering example of N-Gage, perhaps? Why not? But Infra-Worlds sees this as an opportunity to sell a Java-based platform. So it is offering the platform, not the game; and as an afterthought, maybe, it is also offering a 3D rendering engine.

Recently, I predicted that there was a need for Internet switching ability in a mobile phone. Sofinnova Ventures is just one VC that's getting excited about this idea and is pushing Hellosoft as a major potential player in this market. HelloSoft allows phone makers (and other "embedded" pda, etc. makers) to buy an IP stack off the shelf. Set-top boxes are another promising area, they say.

Beamreach recently joined the WiMAX forum, anticipating the move of "mobile" into broadband speeds. Like Flarion, it claims a portfolio of patents in the OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) technology world which its backers think will let it be a gatekeeper to mobile broadband. "The key technology is in the way that the company has integrated OFDM for non-line-of-sight transmission, with what it calls Frequency Spacial Diversity, that improves signal propagation," the VC told me here in Cannes. "There are some multi-million dollar contracts about to be announced."

Revenue streams are a component all too often missing from mobile data startups: VoluBill may have a future in repairing this breach. It's a company which claims to "know how to charge for mobile services". The products anticipate a day when content-rich data services will become the major differentiator between operators. "Integrated charging, on-the-fly access to services, and a seamless delivery of content are the basics that must be in place to enhance the user's experience," said the VC.

The one that really caught my eye, though, was Varioptic, which has found a way to focus very, very small lenses. Not, perhaps (yet!) in the human eye, but in the mobile phone camera. The technology is a liquid lens, which uses electro-wetting. A water drop is set onto a substrate made of metal, covered by a thin insulating layer. The focus is entirely electronic. The lens is only 8mm in diameter, 2mm in thickness. "Not just in phones," said the VC selling this. "It also will mean digital cameras in toy cars, business cards, boats, you name it. No moving parts, you see?"

© 2004 NewsWireless.Net

The Register 3GSM coverage in full</>

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.