Rococo helps Trinity free up computer labs


21 Mar 2003

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Dublin-based software firm Rococo, which specialises in developing Bluetooth wireless applications, is working on a novel project that will help Trinity College Dublin free up vital computer resources.

The three-year-old company is working on a project jointly sponsored by TCD and the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources that will see students equipped with personal digital assistants (PDAs), using the technology to get lecture updates and check their email and surf the web wirelessly.

The aim is to combine Bluetooth wireless technology in association with 802.11b wireless local area network (WLAN) systems.

Karl McCabe, founder and chief technology officer with Rococo, told siliconrepublic.com: “A lot of resources in college computer labs are often tied up, mostly with students just checking the web and reading email. It is in early stages at present and we have given 20 postgraduates PDAs. Both the college and the Department of Communications are quite anxious to get feedback on how wireless technology will work in an academic environment.”

Rococo software was established in 2000 by three former senior Iona Technologies executives, Sean O’Sullivan, Karl McCabe and Ross O’Crowley.

In the past year the company has scored major contracts in the Bluetooth marketplace, most notably with Matsushita in Asia and Siemens in Germany, who will be integrating Bluetooth technology into the central communications bus in cars, to enable wireless connectivity to a car’s navigation system, radio and engine diagnostics. “A typical example of how it could work would be a driver having mapping information downloaded wirelessly on to his/her PDA from the car’s central navigation system,” McCabe explained.

In August 2001 Rococo succeeded in raising a venture capital round worth €3.1m from Trinity Venture Capital. The company has two strands to its business, product development and consultancy. After its first year in business, the company brought in more than €1m in revenues through consultancy work alone.

By John Kennedy