|Specializing in wireless multimedia software and services for mobile applications
As a pioneer in the development and deployment of wireless multimedia, PacketVideo is creating the enabling software for encoding, transmitting, managing and viewing full-motion video and audio over wireless networks.
If there's one thing that doesn't stay put, it's the mobile phone. Granted, a mobile device should be mobile. But are you ready for the third generation wireless phones, coming soon to a purse or pocket near youthe ones that will also deliver streaming wireless video straight into your palm?
Wireless video and audio is what's next, claims Jim Carol, Chairman of PacketVideo Corporation, but it's not going to be the latest blockbusters, dumped into a tiny handheld screen. "We don't believe people will be watching movies on their phones," says Carol. In his view, different cultures will use wireless multimedia differently.
"Take the Japanese, they love to play games. In fact, right now they use a wireless device to play an interactive fishing game that's so popular hundreds of thousands of people are addicted to it. So, for starters, they'll play interactive games," says Carol, "In Hong Kong, where horse racing is big, people will watch the wireless race results. And in the US, we're rolling out a remote surveillance application, where a video camera can be installed over your child's crib or daycare center or vacation home or business cash register. Then you'll just dial in to see what's happening whenever you want."
New technology spawns new medium of communications
It all began for PacketVideo in 1998, when Carol and co-founder, Dr. Jim Brailean, left Motorola to start a company to bring wireless multimedia to mobile devices. "I ran Motorola's worldwide OEM sales and Jim was the top research scientist for media technologies and silicon design," says Carol, "We left Motorola without a piece of paper, not a sticky, not anything. We started at ground zero."
Soon ground zero mushroomed. With Brailean's connections as the four-year chairman of the MPEG-4 International Standards body, the two enticed 21 of the top 42 scientists then involved in creating this standard to open PacketVideo's doors, says Carol. "We got right down to work to build all our software and technology to be rolled out in 2001, targeting Japan. Then, what was most astonishing, was that in mid-1999 we had a huge breakthrough in PacketVideo's science and technologywe got our software up and running over low speed networks in the U.S. It was then we realized we really had a new medium of communications."
Intel Capital Invests In PacketVideo
In late 1998, the PacketVideo team started talking to Intel Capital, says Carol, "And we kept talking into 1999." Intel Capital was initially interested in PacketVideo since video data is expected to play a key role in next generation wireless handheld devices.
After meeting extensively with the PacketVideo team, Intel Capital saw that the company's technologies could help to speed the development of video data deliverywhich could also help expand the market segment for handheld devices, especially those based on Intel® StrongARM® processors.
"Intel Capital doesn't invest glibly, and their due diligence process is toughyet it's good," says Carol, "Because there has to be a good business behind their investment and you have to have the goods to be a good business investment. I appreciated it all. Intel Capital was our first investor, so it was great." Following this due diligence investigation, Intel Capital invested in PacketVideo in 1999.
A Satisfying Collaborative Relationship
Today, PacketVideo's standards-compliant encoding, distribution and decoding software is enabling content providers and carriers to deliver rich media, such as video and audio, to mobile users anytime, anywhere over any digital wireless network. "We have 45 trials of our products in process or planned with major wireless carriers around the world," says Carol.
The ability to collaborate with the Intel Capital team has made all the difference for PacketVideo, says Carol. "The experience of working with some of the top minds in the world, where Dr. Brailean and I have had the chance to meet some of Intel's senior executives who, hands down, are some of the top business men in the world has been tremendous. Brainstorming with the them has been invaluable."
PacketVideo has also collaborated closely with Intel engineers on the development of optimized video software technologies for the wireless hand held market segment, says Carol. "We've been optimizing on Intel processors for two years now, where we've made PacketVideo's software run as well as it physically, possibly can on Intel's wonderful silicon design, being the Intel StrongARM processor."
In addition, PacketVideo has joined Intel in extensive joint marketing and sales activities in Japan, which has been beneficial to both companies. In fact, says Carol, Intel has also benefited from PacketVideo's experience in the wireless multimedia market segment. "We're out there deploying a new medium of wireless and multimedia communications and implementing it in trials in many countries. We share our results with Intel, which gives them a real-world view of this emerging market segment."
All totaled, Carol says that the Intel Capital investment has been great. "We are very dedicated and loyal to Intel Capital due to the fact that they believed in us when we were very small, when we were nobody. We bring a determined dedication to making sure that we give them a great return in all that they have invested in us."