Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ontela A Physical World Connection Player

There are a few physical world connection companies that I have yet to talk about on PP.

They are not ready for primetime, because they are working to get strategic partners, or they are getting their IP together.

The cat is out of the bag on one of them.

From Seattle PI Ontela emerging from stealth mode

I just spent some time with Ontela Chief Executive Dan Shapiro, whose Seattle mobile software startup will unveil itself at the CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas next week.

Shapiro, a 30-year-old former manager at RealNetworks, Wildseed and Microsoft, demonstrated a patent-pending technology that he says will allow third party developers to create all sorts of compelling applications for camera phones.

For example, a camera phone user who was browsing history books at Barnes & Noble could take a photo of the bar code on a biography of Harry Truman and then get a text message a minute later with a link to the book on

Ontela will unveil their technology this summer.

Next week at CTIA, it plans to announce its first development partner and the name of the service. Ontela is backed with an undisclosed amount of angel financing.

It employs three people, including former Microsoft and Expedia developer Charles Zapata and former Microsoft manager Brian Schultz (who previously co-founded Djinnisys Corp.)

Last week it was ActiveSymbol, this week Ontela. Stay tuned there are more to come.

I have been saying this space will be too big for just a couple dozen players.

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