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Intellectual Ventures spins out satellite broadband antenna company, with Bill Gates as investor

Bill Gates is among the many buyers placing a complete of $12 million into a brand new Seattle-area firm, Kymeta, that plans to supply high-tech antennas to make it simpler to ascertain a broadband connection between satellites and transferring autos such as automobiles, airplanes and boats.

The brand new firm, primarily based in Redmond, has been spun out by Intellectual Ventures, the patent holding firm and analysis lab based by Nathan Myhrvold, the previous Microsoft chief know-how officer. Kymeta’s chief govt is Vern Fotheringham, a widely known Seattle-area entrepreneur who based Superior Radio Telecom.

Kymeta’s antennas, to be offered beneath the “mTenna” title, are primarily based on a man-made materials identified as metamaterials that may manipulate electromagnetic radiation to electronically management a radio sign. Put in on a transferring automobile, one of many antennas will be capable of set up a steady broadband connection with a satellite, based on the corporate.

Intellectual Ventures says the know-how is thinner, lighter, inexpensive and extra environment friendly than conventional antennas.

Along with business purposes, Kymeta says it’ll market a transportable satellite hotspot, concerning the dimension of a laptop computer, for particular person customers. The corporate’s first merchandise are anticipated to hit the market in 2015. Aside from Gates, different buyers in Kymeta embody Liberty International and Lux Capital.

Within the information launch asserting the brand new firm, Intellectual Ventures says there will probably be further long-term purposes for metamaterials.

“Metamaterials had been an early focus for IV, so the spinout of Kymeta marks an vital milestone in our invention work,” says Casey Tegreene, govt vice chairman and chief patent counsel at IV, within the launch. “As groundbreaking as it’s, the satellite antenna know-how behind Kymeta solely scratches the floor of what metamaterials can do.”

It’s the second undertaking to be spun out of Intellectual Ventures for the reason that firm was based in 2000. The opposite was TerraPower, spun out in 2008 to create a brand new kind of nuclear reactor. Gates can also be an investor in TerraPower.

Comply with-up: Intellectual Ventures: Why haven’t there been more spinoffs?

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