Imagine walking into your favorite store and having it immediately “recognize” you and deliver a customized coupon to your smartphone. Or, picture walking into a restaurant and having your phone alert you right away whether your friends are there.
NewAer, an award-winning technology company, has been pioneering the mobile use of proximity data and has already made these possibilities a reality.
The Prox.Platform from NewAer enables any smartphone to react to what it detects nearby. Because the software uses the phone’s full data location features — including lower-power Near Field Communication, Bluetooth, and WiFi —rather than just GPS, it saves battery life and works flawlessly even in locations where some features may not function well.
ToothTag, the showcase app, lets users “tag” Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled devices and set alerts or actions that can occur when in close proximity to those items. It can automatically check you in through Foursquare when you arrive at a location, or can automatically pin the location of your Bluetooth-equipped car each time you park it.
Kiosk, another app that runs on the Prox.Platform, creates a new consumer experience by letting retailers engage customers who are near, or in, their stores.
So how did NewAer turn from an idea in founder Dave Mathews’ head into a reality?
Mathews, the holder of over 70 U.S. patents and an eight-time entrepreneur, wasn’t looking for help raising capital. With over 20 years in the business, his role as founding contributor of O’Reilly’s MAKE, and frequent appearances on television meant finding investors wasn’t the challenge. What was the challenge was finding top talent who could help develop the software.
“One of my first decisions—to partner with Originate—proved to be critical to the company’s success,” says Mathews. “I needed to build software that could access multiple features on mobile devices simultaneously, be power-efficient, and offer a rich user experience. There aren’t a lot of people out there who can develop this level of code, and do it quickly and flawlessly.”
Mathews worked with Originate CEO Rob Meadows to form an equity partnership. Originate incubated NewAer and its team of developers used Scala to build the original version of the platform and the early applications, including ToothTag. Originate also served in a business advisory capacity, helping NewAer sign the first customer, raise money, and recruit additional staff.
In less than two years, NewAer’s Prox.Platform went from concept to actuality. In 2013, FierceWireless named NewAer one of its Fierce 15 wireless startups noting that “NewAer is sitting directly in the path of the Internet of things trend, which promises to connect everyday devices to each other.”
NewAer is now working closely with strategic partners and investors that include T-Mobile, Intel, and In-Q-Tel.
“The Originate partnership with NewAer is something I’m really proud of,” said Rob Meadows, CEO of Originate. “We were able to do what we do best—leverage the world’s most talented designers and developers—to help create a game-changing product.”