Stratech Systems invests in Bluetooth Technology through 35% stake in Mobiwave

Stratech Systems Limited ("Stratech"), Mainboard-listed technology and systems developer, has invested S$3.5 million for a 35% stake in Mobiwave Pte Ltd ("Mobiwave"), a developer of Bluetooth wireless communications technologies. This is in line with Stratech’s plans to strengthen its product range and capabilities, and gain access to new and emerging know-how through investments in complementary technologies.

Bluetooth is a new wireless communications standard that uses short-range radio waves to link electronic devices in close proximity to one another. With Bluetooth, a wide range of electronic devices such as personal data assistants ("PDAs"), information appliances, mobile phones, personal computers, laptops, pagers, fax machines and printers will be able to conveniently share information and "talk" to each other without the need for cumbersome wires.

Managed by a core team of 10 technopreneurs, who pool together more than 100 man-years of professional IT and business experience, Mobiwave is a high-tech start-up dedicated to developing core technologies and products based on the Bluetooth standard. Seven of the founding members of Mobiwave were originally from the Government-funded Kent Ridge Digital Laboratories ("KRDL"). Currently, Mobiwave is working on a mobile content delivery system, wireless solutions and broadband gateway devices.

In 1993, five of the founding members of Mobiwave, who were veteran technologists for the Avionics industry, were instrumental in developing a Global Positioning System-based ("GPS-based") Flight Management System product family which single-handedly helped AlliedSignal Aerospace regain its market share. The investment therefore draws on a wealth of technological competence and knowledge from Mobiwave’s team members that will go far in strengthening Stratech’s R&D capabilities, especially in the key emerging area of wireless computing.

Application of the Bluetooth standard to Stratech’s Intelligent Transport Systems ("iTS") and e-Business technologies and solutions will bring about greater ease of use and flexibility to mobile users of these solutions. For example, for systems powered by Stratech’s SuperAuc™ online dynamic pricing engines, users can currently access pricing data by logging on to the Internet from their home or office personal computer. But if the systems are Bluetooth-enabled, users can access pricing data from a much wider range of electronic devices and information appliances, including PDAs, mobile phones, printers or fax machines.

Bluetooth technology will therefore add a new dimension to the concept of "mobile-commerce", where the Internet and the mobile phone will no longer be the sole platforms for conducting electronic commercial transactions. In addition, real-time traffic information data, such as bus travel speed and arrival times, provided by commercial-scale applications of Stratech’s Public Transport Traveler Information System ("PTTIS") can be accessed via virtually any Bluetooth-enabled portable electronic device. This will empower commuters to make better travel decisions even whilst on the road.

Mobiwave is currently developing a customised mobiliser for, the international e-learning portal reputed for its collaborative learning resources, wholly-owned by Stratech. With this software application, a comprehensive range of educational materials, games, book reviews and project work help can be easily downloaded by teachers, parents and students to their hand-held devices. The mobiliser can also send students short messages to these devices such as homework reminders or examination tips. It will also pave the way for "virtual project teams", where geographically dispersed students can exchange ideas and discuss schoolwork via dynamic interactive "chat rooms" on their hand-held devices. This will enhance the role of as a mobile one-stop educational portal that can inform, guide and tutor students anytime of the day, anywhere in the world.

"There is a lot of synergy and mutual benefits to be tapped from this investment," said Dr David Chew, Chairman and Chief Executive of Stratech. "The Bluetooth wireless communications technology developed by Mobiwave will value-add immensely to many of our existing products, systems and services. As a result of this investment, we will be able to leapfrog and obtain wireless technology expertise without having to spend precious time and substantial resources in building up the capability ourselves."