Comms Focus: Starfish boss talks Symbian, wireless... Part 2

Until TrueSync, all synchronisation systems, when it came to devices, synchronised devices a pair at the time. For example if a wireless digital phone a smart pager and a Rex or Pilot, needed to be kept synchronised using a first generation synchronisation system, one had to take multiple steps to bring all these devices in synchronisation a pair at a time.

Until TrueSync, all synchronisation systems, when it came to devices, synchronised devices a pair at the time. For example if a wireless digital phone a smart pager and a Rex or Pilot, needed to be kept synchronised using a first generation synchronisation system, one had to take multiple steps to bring all these devices in synchronisation a pair at a time. Notwithstanding the issues of scalability and wireless bandwidth, with the pair at the time approach one can get into what is technically known as Race Conditions. In other words, while a pair of devices synchronises, a third device changes its information content and none of the environment ever reaches consistency. Eventually, information eventually loses its context or can even be lost or corrupted. Furthermore, when users start having more than one wireless device, this process can put an extraordinary burden on the wireless infrastructure and would never scale properly to a level acceptable to cellular operators. Starfish foresaw in 1994 the need for a new architecture for the next generation platform for synchronisation.

Starfish has developed the next generation synchronisation architecture. We call it the TrueSync Multi-Point Synchronisation platform. Starfish's founding vision is global synchronisation and integration of wireless and wireline devices. TrueSync synchronises multiple devices (up to 256 for the first generation TrueSync) simultaneously in one single step. Only incremental changes move back and forth on the wireless and wireline infrastructures making for a completely commercially effective scalable synchronisation platform. Starfish has filed key patents to protect its innovation

The Starfish Multi-Point Synchronisation platform is designed to embrace and extend all existing synchronisation platforms including PalmPilot's HotSync, Microsoft's ActiveSync and others.

Will Starfish/Motorola developments be available to the rest of this industry as potential open standards or will they be proprietary?

We have a strong belief in open up platforms, including synchronisation platforms. The idea is to work in partnership with others.

What are the lessons you have learned with Borland or elsewhere that you will try and apply with Starfish?

The lessons are very simple: build great technology as we always did and now have with TrueSync and work synergistically with Microsoft, as we sometimes didn't do! We feel very fortunate at Starfish to be in the enviable position of doing both.

How big is the potential market for TrueSync connected and similar devices?

We believe that within five years the unit size of that market will be larger than the PC business.

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