A startup backed by Tony Fadell, one of the fathers of the Apple iPod, plans to announce Wednesday it is working with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd and others on a new way for mobile phones to transfer large amounts of data without using wires or WiFi connections.
Chief Executive Eric Almgren said his Campbell, Calif.-based company called Keyssa has raised more than $100 million from Fadell and the venture arms of Samsung and Intel Corp, among others. The company’s “kiss” technology allows two computing devices to be held near each other and transfer large files such as movies in just a few seconds.
The goal is to remove the need for cumbersome and bulky cable connectors inside devices like phones and laptops, which are growing ever-lighter and thinner. If Keyssa is successful, the wireless data transfer technique could eventually be available in a wide range of devices. Keyssa announced last October, together with Intel Corp, that it had come up with a design that could be embedded in so-called two-in-one laptops which feature detachable touch-screens. The alliance with Samsung and Foxconn is aimed at creating a design for mobile phones. Shankar Chandran, head of the venture arm at Samsung Electronics, noted that the management team at Keyssa had previously developed the technology behind the HDMI standard for video connections. Samsung hopes Keyssa’s technology might become similarly widespread.
“Standards tend to get ecosystems built around them in a fairly complicated way,” Chandran said in an interview.
What’s needed is a bunch of industry players across the value chain saying they’re going to build to that standard. And that’s really what we have.
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