Streaming technology goes mobile
Company: Bellevue-based Vidiator Technology.
Alliance: Owned by Hutchinson Whampoa, a multibillion international company based in Hong Kong that's one of the world's leading wireless operators.
The boss: Connie Wong, Vidiator's founder and chief executive and Hutchinson Whampoa Americas' president. She previously worked at AT&T Wireless, Tegic Communications and Nextel International. From 1978 to 1995, she was with Hutchinson Telecom International.
History: Hutchinson rehired Wong more than three years ago, and she started Vidiator after Hutchinson acquired video-streaming intellectual property from a bankrupt California company. "You could find video streaming for the PC but not for the mobile phone," she said. "We found a company developing a product solely designed for the mobile space."
Trio: Today the company has three products: VeeStream, VeeAdapt and VeeAnimator.
Vee 1: VeeStream is the streaming technology platform carriers use to send audio and video to various devices.
Vee 2: VeeAdapt changes a video's file format, bit rate and frame rate to work on whatever phone or network a person is using.
Vee 3: VeeAnimator allows such content as weather reports and horoscopes to be synced and delivered to a person using an avatar, or an animated talking head.
Employees: 50, with about 30 of them in the Bellevue headquarters; the rest are in Hong Kong, London or Mountain View, Calif.
Notable contract: Vidiator has an exclusive relationship with Stan Lee's POW! Mobile to create and distribute wireless content. Lee is the creator of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Hulk, properties now owned by Marvel Comics. Vidiator first will develop episodes from Lee's comics The Drifter and The Accuser. It also plans to help develop avatar products, including one based on Stripperella, his risqué video-game character.
Competitors: RealNetworks and others that are building streaming platforms for mobile operators.
Carrier relationships: Hutchinson's 3, a European wireless carrier, launched the streaming service in eight countries and is delivering more than 1 million streams a day.
World views: Wong said that in the U.S., carriers want content to come with the streaming technology. In Europe and Asia, it's the opposite. Carriers only want the technology so they can find content no other carrier has.
— Tricia Duryee
Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company