Cambridge spin-out InputDynamics has been awarded a Pathfinder Investment from Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation office, to continue the development of TouchDevice™, its highly innovative input solution for mobile phones.
Teaching old phones new tricks
The success of smartphones has proved the desire at the high end of the market for more effective and intuitive user interfaces. This trend towards better ways of navigating menus and interacting with multimedia applications is now spreading down to feature phones, with touchscreen functionality increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ in this all- important market segment.
InputDynamics has developed TouchDevice™ to effectively simulate a touchscreen in mid-tier mobile phones. The product is 100% software driven as it relies on the acoustic signal produced by the user tapping on the display screen of a feature phone, the company’s proprietary algorithms, and existing handset hardware such as the on-board microphone and microprocessor, to deliver touchscreen functionality.
“We believe InputDynamics has great potential,” Dr Geraldine Rodgers, Head of Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds, said. “Their software is a truly innovative technology that could well be used in millions of mobile phones worldwide.
InputDynamics’ user interface (UI) is not limited to the display screen of a feature phone, a users can tap or swipe on the entirety of the handset casework, thus delivering intuitive and flexible ways for users to interface with devices and freeing designers from the limitations of conventional UIs, which are confined to keypads and touchscreens. It is expected that many of these new methods of interacting with a feature phone will eventually migrate upwards into the smartphone market.
TouchDevice™ will enable handset manufacturers to extend the life of their investment in existing feature phones by retrofitting software-only touchscreen functionality.
Giovanni Bisutti, CEO of InputDynamics, said “The latest support from Cambridge Enterprise demonstrates confidence in our exciting new approach for better interfacing with feature phones and smartphones.”
The company is seeking to raise £1m to fast track the delivery of TouchDevice™ to the first handset manufacturer and take the company to profitability within the next 24-30 months while giving investors exceptional long-term opportunity for growth and profit.
Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds is part of Cambridge Enterprise Limited and provides funding for early stage businesses that have been founded by members of the University of Cambridge. . A new fund, The University of Cambridge Discovery Fund, was launched in September 2008. This fund, together with the original University Challenge Fund and the University Venture Fund, are evergreen and equity realisations will continue to fund new businesses which will have economic and societal impact.
Cambridge Enterprise Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge, responsible for the commercialisation of University intellectual property. Activities include management and licensing of intellectual property and patents, proof of concept funding and support for University staff and research groups wishing to provide expert advice or facilities to public and private sector organisations. Cambridge Enterprise provides access to angel and early stage capital through the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds and Cambridge Enterprise Venture Partners, and offers business planning, mentoring, and other related programmes.
Over the past two years, income from licensing, consultancy and equity transactions exceeded £18 million, of which £14 million represents distributions to University departments and academics.
For further information please contact:
Cambridge Enterprise Limited
Tel: 01223 760339
Mob : 07500 883612
Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.