A better Wifi for video in the home
Video54, a Mountain View start-up, says it has solved one of the biggest technology challenges in the ""digital livingroom'' -- offering consistent video communications wirelessly anywhere within the home.
The company, which has remained in stealth until today, will launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It will announce its first partner, networking company Netgear. It'll be interesting to see how it is received, amid all the other progress being made lately by SBC and other players in bringing video to the home. Video54 sees itself as a possible partner with SBC and others, not a competitor.
It raised in the ""low millions'' of venture capital dollars from Sequoia Capital in June, according to its chairman, Dominic Orr. The company is led by chief executive Selina Lo, who told us she tried to retire as a couch potato after help ing Nortel acquire her former company, Alteon, for $7.3 billion, but got frustrated by the limitations of Wifi technology in her home. That's when she started thinking up her company's smart antenna technology, called BeamFlex, which runs on 802.11a, 802.11g and the coming 802.11n standard. The networking product basically creates virtual antennas to allow seamless video and data communications even across barriers -- such as thick walls, interference created by things like bluetooth and cordless phone networks, or just plain distance -- that have so far hampered Wifi.
Lo and Orr linked up with the two founders, who were incubating the technology within Sequoia's offices. In June, Lo and Orr joined Sequoia in a first round of funding. Now, they plan to raise a second round to help with the company's expansion.