MobileAria Inc., announced Jan. 7 it had completed the development of the company's in-vehicle productivity service platform. The new service platform, which allows drivers to access and integrate personal contact information, phone calls, email, voicemail,and Internet content services, will be demonstrated at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the Las VegasConvention Center, Jan. 8-11 in Delphi's exhibit (North Hall, booth no. 7113).
In addition, MobileAria announced the appointment of Sachal Gidwani as president and general manager. Gidwani will use the technical and business-to-business sales experience gained from 15 years in the automotive industry to energize MobileAria's efforts to promote its in-vehicle productivity service to automotive, consumer and enterprise customers. Gidwani also plans to close the next round of funding, which is expected to occur in Q102.
Delphi's Communiport Mobile Productivity System and MobileAria's in-vehicle productivity service will give drivers hands-free voice access to a laptop, mobile phone and MobileAria's array of information services via the Internet, according to the company. The units connect to a laptop and a cellular phone using Bluetooth wireless technology,eliminating the need for complicated wiring and accessories.
"Together, Delphi and MobileAria are demonstrating the benefits of MobileAria's in-vehicle productivity service and Delphi'sCommuniport mobile productivity systems to auto makers, enterprise customers and consumers," said Robert Schumacher, general director ofDelphi's Mobile MultiMedia Business Unit. "With Sachal Gidwani at the helm, we look forward to expanding our relationship to address new andinnovative market opportunities in the United States and globally that make it easier and more convenient for people to access theinformation, communication and entertainment they want, when they want, in the car."
Gidwani assumes operations from Mike Orr, who recently left the company. Gidwani worked with the founders and initial investors Delphi, Mayfield and Palm to launch the company and has been with MobileAria since its inception. Most recently, Gidwani was the company's executive vice president and general manager with specific responsibility for business development. During this time, Gidwani worked to secure relationships with key strategic partners, including MSNBC, Reuters, Sony Ericsson, Go2 Systems and WeatherBank.
"Over the past year, Mike Orr has helped MobileAria progress from an exciting concept to a demonstrable service," said Tom O'Gara,MobileAria co-founder and a member of the board of directors. "Sachal's impressive background working for an automotive giant andsuccessfully selling to Fortune 500 customers make him the ideal person to take MobileAria to the next level and establish the companyas the industry's preeminent telematics service provider."
Prior to joining MobileAria, Gidwani spent more than 15 years with Delphi Automotive, where he had a broad range of management responsibility in automotive engineering, customer relations and business development. Most recently at Delphi Automotive, Gidwani was director of Marketing, Planning and Engineering for the Asia Pacific Region that includes operations in Japan, Korea, China, India, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. Earlier, Gidwani was managingdirector for Delphi Automotive Systems - India, where he managed more than 1,200 employees in several major operations.
"Analysts estimate that by the year 2006 half the world's vehicles will be equipped with telematics and that the market will be in excessof $20 billion," said Janice Roberts, general partner, Mayfield. "MobileAria is beginning to assert leadership in the industry throughits commitment to innovation and convenience, beginning with Bluetooth technology and through strategic partnerships with global leaders suchas Delphi, Sony Ericsson and Palm. Under Sachal's leadership, Mayfield is confident 2002 will be a break-through year for MobileAria and the telematics industry."
Gidwani holds a master's degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, from McGill University in Canada. He is a recipient of several patents and awards in security and safety electronics.
MobileAria's True Hands Free service voice-enables a driver's PC laptop and mobile phone using text-to-speech, voice recognition and Bluetooth technologies to create an in-vehicleproductivity service. MobileAria's True Hands Free service is a service to provide drivers with purely voice-activated access to their voice mail, email, contact information andpersonalized news and stocks, while enabling drivers to always keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Mountain View, Calif.-based MobileAria is a pioneer of True Hands Free voice-enabled productivity services for the telematicsindustry. MobileAria's technology frees drivers to access their world responsibly in any automobile using leading voice, GPS, Bluetooth and other wireless technologies. Investors include Delphi Automotive Systems, Mayfield Fund and Palm, Inc. For additional information, please visit .