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mCube sets up subsidiary to boost indoor navigation clout

Posted: 25 Aug 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mCube  indoor navigation  Ten Degrees  inertial sensor  Android 

mCube Inc., a fabless chip company based in San Jose, California, has established Ten Degrees Inc. as a wholly-owned subsidiary to focus on business related to indoor navigation. mCube has also recently unveiled a 9-degrees-of-freedom inertial sensor geared for Android mobile devices that includes a virtual gyroscope function, claiming to have space and power consumption advantages over competing inertial sensors.

However, Ten Degrees' added value would appear to be based on synthesising information from multiple sources to come up with an accurate indication of position. Although indoor-navigation based on dead-reckoning has been offered for some time it has been criticised for being insufficiently accurate to provide a reliable business platform.

Ten Degrees was formed in April 2014 as the first step to the creation of an independent entity focused on making business around indoor navigation. Ten Degrees has developed a software navigation engine that takes advantage of positioning information derived from the inertial-sensors available in virtually all current smartphones, and combines WiFi and Bluetooth signals with indoor map information to determine indoor location.

Ramesh Raman has been appointed CEO of Ten Degrees. Previously he was with Amyris, a company in the renewable fuels and chemicals sector where he was SVP of global manufacturing and supply chain. Prior to that Raman worked at consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in the semiconductor, consumer goods and retail industries. Jobe Price, former VP of software at mCube, has moved to take the role of CTO at Ten Degrees.

"With this strategic move, Ten Degrees and mCube can focus on their unique market segments, while also benefitting from each company's technology development and expertise," said Raman. "We look forward to delivering a solution that can easily and accurately guide users indoors, whether to an individual cubicle in an office building, to a specific item in a retail store, or to a room in a hospital, bringing users literally within arm's reach of their desired indoor location."

"Ten Degrees will be able to build an entire business around its navigation software engine, while allowing mCube to continue expanding its core business around the world's smallest MEMS motion sensors," said Ben Lee, CEO of mCube. "Ten Degrees comes out of the gate with an early competitive advantage by having access to mCube's years of proven software expertise in algorithms for sensors in smart devices, enabling the company to quickly deliver indoor navigation solutions to customers and partners."

- Peter Clarke
  EE Times Europe

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