|January 10, 2001|
AirClic Announces Major Transactions; Appoints Chairman And CEO
|AirClic Inc. announced today the election of Harvey Golub as chairman of the board and Phillip J. Riese as a director and chief executive officer of AirClic. Mr. Golub recently retired as CEO of American Express Company but remains the company's chairman until April. Mr. Riese was most recently CEO of OptiMark, Inc., a leading provider of technology systems to electronic markets. Prior to OptiMark, Mr. Riese was president, Consumer Card Services Group at American Express, and an 18-year veteran of the company.|
AirClic further announced that it has completed a series of important transactions:
- AirClic has acquired Connect Things, a technology spin-off from LM Ericsson AB. Connect Things, based in Stockholm, Sweden, brings significant technical capability as well as an advanced database architecture and "high-volume switch" to AirClic. Connect Things infrastructure is already actively used in Europe for connecting bar codes to specific pages in a particular Web site. The purchase gives AirClic immediate presence in the European marketplace, enhances its technical and engineering talent, and provides a product testing capability in a relatively mature market for wireless devices.
- AirClic has closed on a round of substantial funding from Symbol Technologies, Inc., Ericsson Business Innovation AB, Motorola, Inc. and a private investor group led by Goldman Sachs Group.
- AirClic has received, as part of a broader strategic relationship, a license to proprietary intellectual property from Symbol Technologies relating to scanning applications. AirClic will, as part of this strategic relationship, use Symbol's laser scanners and emerging scanning technologies as central to its product offering.
AirClic's ONE-SCAN technology allows users of mobile and other Web-enabled devices to directly access the Web site of their choice without the laborious task of typing Internet addresses using the telephone keypad or the alternative small keyboards integrated into cellular telephones, PDAs or two-way pagers. It allows the user to get to the Web page they want without having to tunnel through page after page to get to the desired location. Thus, it allows for easy delivery of information and transactions, and it allows this to happen where and when the user wishes on a device they already have with them - their mobile phone or PDA.
AirClic transforms Web-enabled phones, PDAs and other devices into personal scanning devices by attaching tiny bar code readers to them or incorporating the reader into the unit itself. This is done primarily using Symbol's bar code scanning technology.
AirClic has assembled and maintains a CLIC-THRU registry which points bar codes, including the ubiquitous EAN, UPC and JAN bar codes printed on products, labels, in magazines and catalogues and other places in the physical world to specific Web pages where information can be found or transactions can be made. This is done through arrangements with e-commerce sites and providers globally on a non-exclusive basis, providing users the broadest array of choices in information and transactions.
AirClic and Symbol have also developed a new, small bar code, the Scanlet. Scanlets allow businesses and individuals to fully control and determine the specific Web page that particular users will be directed to via the registry. The registry and switch operate globally and are configured to support millions of bar codes and user transactions daily.
With a simple scan of a UPC, EAN, JAN or Scanlet by an AirClic-enabled device, people will be connected, through AirClic's high-speed switch, directly to the appropriate page of the appropriate Web
sites. Here they can order products, find information, and manage everyday tasks and transactions, with the information delivered from that Web site to their device in an appropriate and easy-to-use format.
"AirClic's technology makes portable, Web-enabled devices easy to use," said Mr. Golub. "It eliminates a significant limitation preventing broad utilization of these devices for critical business processes and consumer needs, allowing users to quickly get to the Web page and service they want without having to press lots of buttons or surf Web page after Web page as they search for the desired information."
"AirClic and Connect Things' people and infrastructure, in combination with Symbol's reach and experience in the area of scanning and Motorola and Ericsson's support, make this transformation of Web access possible," added Mr. Riese. "There are many outstanding mobile Web-enabled applications waiting to happen all around the world. AirClic's technology is finally providing the technology, the tools, the infrastructure, a global standard and the economic incentives to allow them to blossom."
AirClic provides open, accessible, and easy-to-use tool kits for application developers to build business and consumer applications using the AirClic platform, and for businesses to incorporate scanning into their advertising, sales, inventory management, distribution and other mission critical processes. AirClic also provides economic incentives to third parties when they either enable portable Web devices or help deploy mobile Web applications to use ONE-SCAN technology. By supporting an open platform architecture, the company's efforts will be directed towards becoming the global standard for Web-based application providers, bar code users, and Web-enabled device manufacturers.
"Ericsson supports the AirClic symbology standard and the potential benefits it will bring to mobile users around the world," said Joran Hoff, CEO of Ericsson Business Innovation AB, Ericsson's incubator unit. "We intend to work with AirClic to incorporate scanning technology compliant with the AirClic standard into future Ericsson mobile offerings."
"Motorola supports AirClic's open business model because it amplifies choice and simplifies use of the mobile Internet," said Warren Holtsberg, corporate vice president of Motorola Ventures. "The opportunity to incorporate ONE-SCAN (TM) technology into a full suite of Motorola's end-to-end customer solutions is very compelling."
"Through AirClic, Symbol is coming one step closer to its vision of connecting the physical world of people 'on-the-move' and m-commerce to the virtual world of the Internet and e-commerce," said Tomo Razmilovic, president and CEO, Symbol Technologies. "AirClic promises to create the first pervasive use of scanning technology by consumers and major new uses of scanning for a host of business applications."
Product rollouts in major North American and European markets are planned for the first half of 2001. AirClic is in the final stages of negotiating agreements with several top-tier content and applications providers who plan to use the technology to expand their e-commerce capabilities.