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RFID Unbound: The HyperSpace Plan for MPC

HyperspaceThe surprise purchase of MPC Computers by the tiny Denver-based HyperSpace may be explained with a single phrase: secure RFID.

In the past, I've mentioned RFID as the next critical project for companies like Alloy Marketing, simply because it enables supercheap 24/7 tracking of consumers and like the web, provides a platform for building retail applications that favors companies with real estate assets over their web-centric competitors.

RFID has been hurt by overhyped applications like Wal-Mart's supply chain program which probably never had a chance to meet their Jan 2005 deadline. MPC - a longtime leader in RFID - hedged their bets last year by quietly asking government agencies what they needed in their future wireless systems.

HyperSpace will apply its compression technology to solve one of RFID's biggest problems: normalizing data transmission speeds in a variety of environments. This puts them in competition with players like Sentec, Scientific Generics, and San Diego Magnetics. Early stage programs will probably focus on government projects like Homeland Security and automated meter reading for public utilities, and also near-term trials with

  • intelligent packaging (a product on the store shelf calls you up on your mobile phone to give you more information)
  • automated replenishment (your refrigerator is in communication with all of its contents to let you know what is near empty, and what has spoiled)
  • disposable cellphones as labels (peel off a label on the back of your LCD television screen to reach Toshiba customer support)

Look to parent company Gores Technology to direct HyperSpace to build out the platform and ultimately sell to one of the giants like Oracle or IBM, who have the larger architecture vision but cannot execute against this opportunity as quickly.

Link: Denver Business Journal article on the purchase

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