Kodak forms new wireless venture

Eastman Kodak Co. has formed a new company called Appairent Technologies Inc., which will create tools for sending high quality video, still images and data over wireless networks, Kodak announced Wednesday.

Kodak will tap some of its existing research and development expertise to create the new company, according to Joe Runde, a Kodak spokesman. Kodak teamed with the Monroe Fund, a venture capital firm managed by a unit of Trillium Group LLC, as the initial investors in Appairent. The companies did not disclose the amount of their funding.

Ted Wurzburg, entrepreneur-in-residence at Trillium Group, serves as the company's chief executive officer.

Appairent is initially working on building a RF (radio frequency) antenna and module for sending files between digital cameras, PCs, printers, in-store kiosks and other computing devices. The company plans to deliver developer kits with the RF module to consumer electronics companies in the second half of this year.

"The goal is to make large files move very quickly," Runde said.

The company will work with emerging wireless technologies such as 802.11a to send information back and forth between devices. Appairent's technology should work for a variety of file types including image files, MP3s and small video clips.

The decision to spin off a new company came after Kodak worked for several years on developing wireless technology for the imaging and video market.

"Kodak is an imaging company," Runde said. "As we worked on the technology, it became apparent that the applications for this were beyond just imaging."

The new company is based at Lennox Tech Enterprise Center, an incubator facility in Rochester, New York, according to a statement.

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