WideRay today announced that it has developed the hardware, software and network infrastructure necessary to deliver broadband, contextual information to handheld devices. The company launches today with a comprehensive, patent-pending technology infrastructure, multiple partners and several high profile customers including Metreon – A Sony Entertainment Center.
“WideRay has carefully addressed the needs of both the information provider and the end user, breaking down cost and usability barriers that have, until now, stood in the way of effective wireless content delivery. We offer handheld device users a completely new and useful way of interacting with the world around them, from retail stores to conference rooms. We’ve built rock solid wireless caching and delivery infrastructure and integrated it with tools that are central to people’s daily life – their handheld devices. Our enterprise customers now have a new cost-effective channel for communicating with their audiences- end users who want to receive valuable and useful content and applications tied to their environment,“ said Saul Kato, co-founder and CEO of WideRay.
Premiere Customer — Metreon – A Sony Entertainment Center
WideRay’s installation debuts at Metreon in San Francisco this week. The Metreon, which receives over 10 million visitors per year, features 350,000 square feet of entertainment with 15 theatres and a SONY•IMAX®, several restaurants, many regular and one time attractions and shopping in a collection of exclusive stores. WideRay has partnered with Metreon to provide valuable content beamed to the handheld devices of Metreon visitors. When a Metreon visitor holds out their handheld device to a WideRay Jack they receive rich interactive content, such as movie listings, store, restaurant and attractions, as well as the dynamically generated events of the day.
“Having WideRay’s Jacks at the Metreon gives our visitors a whole new way of interacting with our entertainment destination, “ said Lynn Wallace, Metreon’s Director of Entertainment Marketing. “This is such a perfect fit for Metreon where our visitors have come to expect new and entertaining technologies and experiences. We are already talking about additional ways we can work with WideRay.”
The Jack – Delivers Rich, Dynamic Content and Applications
WideRay’s first product, the Jack, is small book-sized box that delivers customized, rich content and applications directly to end users at broadband speed. Mobile users with any common handheld device (Palms, Pocket PCs, and cellular handsets) can interact with rich, dynamic content such as interactive guides, color catalogs, product reviews, coupons and pricing comparisons, news, transportation schedules, real estate listings, audio/video clips and more. Business users can access relevant content such as reports, presentations, sales tracking, inventory, as well as distribute content including product collateral, trade show exhibit information, and more.
The Jack is a portable, self-contained device that can be placed in physical stores, venues, signage, counter tops, conference rooms and information desks. Jacks also integrate into outdoor marketing (billboards, bus shelters, etc.), point of sale displays, company lobby/entry ways, and trade show booths.
Users simply point their handheld device at the Jack, and in seconds they receive an infrared beam with WideRay’s software and free, timely information tied to the world around them. WideRay users do not require wireless modems or have to pay expensive recurring monthly airtime costs, and yet receive a sustained high-bandwidth, low-latency datastream. Users receive an interactive, data-driven, media-rich experience.
3rd Parties Leverage the WideRay Infrastructure
WideRay has created an end-to-end wireless, transactional, content publishing and caching system designed to address the growing needs for mobile non-voice information at a fraction of the airtime and device costs of cellular systems. Deploying content to devices is as easy as uploading an HTML web page or SQL database to a secure partner website. WideRay also provides the necessary radio reference design and embedded software for companies seeking to embed wireless content reception into their own hardware devices and systems.
WideRay is strategically partnering with the leaders in the retail, trade show, advertising, real estate, outdoor advertising and hospitality industries to distribute its products, services and technology. WideRay’s impressive list of initial customers includes Metreon – a Sony Entertainment Center, LandRover, Stanford University, the Red Herring Venture2001 conference and a major San Francisco professional sports organization.
Technology partnerships include Motorola, Palm, AKQA (formerly Citron Haligman & Bedecarre) WebTech Wireless, Vocera, Daedalus and IDEO.