Editor’s note: HiddenMind received $10 million in new venture funding earlier this week and now is under the control of Minnesota-based JLT Group. So what’s HiddenMind all about? Kirsten Tyler reports. Short of cell phone usage, tapping into the wireless world remains a reality just out of reach for most professionals. Curious TV commercials that hype the wireless Web and clear digital communication have set the stage for a wireless wave that looms large and promises to deliver access to anything — anywhere, anytime, anyplace.
A mid-March partnership forged between HiddenMind of Cary and Xdrive Technologies of Marina Del Rey, CA creates opportunity for owners of Internet-enabled devices at a new level — a seamless universal workplace. HiddenMind’s technology platform literally allows mobile users to turn any handheld device into a PC. This so-called “active technology” gives mobile workers the ability to utilize applications independent of network connectivity, regardless of file size, from any device.
“The HiddenMind-Xdrive collaboration exemplifies a key computing evolution: the emergence of user-focused information solutions,” says Intel Chief e-Strategist, Christ Thomas. “The goal here is for the user to have the ability to take what is created on the desktop and access and share that information on any device.”
But there’s more. Says Ken Walters, president and chief executive officer of HiddenMind: “A key business driver within the enterprise is the sharing and managing of data and documents in a secure environment.”
The real value within the enterprise environment is that the organization can deploy a mobile strategy without tying it to particular device or method. HiddenMind is an abstract platform capable of integrating with existing IT environments and will deploy via high performance Intel-based servers without having to create separate code for each device type.
“We can partner with application developers and system integrators who want to be able to push data to workers,” Walters explains. “Our strategy is to lead the effort through active technology and capability to go to market in a partnership role…Those who can adopt our technology, enhance their products and introduce to their client base as added value.”
Attacking a challenge together
That is exactly the reasoning behind the high-profile partnership with Xdrive Technologies. Xdrive is a leading force among online storage and file sharing services. Until now, its customers had the ability to access, save, share and respond to information from any connected device.
“We were enabling information to be centrally managed, but we also wanted information to be accessible on any device,” Richard Weir, CTO of Xdrive Technologies at the time of the merger, says. “Now with Hiddenmind, I can click an icon and get access to Xdrive information and sent it in real time. This solves the fundamental problem of mobile users.”
Both HiddenMind and Xdrive have been struggling with how to flow information for years. Focused primarily on the laptop professional that has to sync data at a docking station, this new bi-directional information exchange frees the user from messaging and queuing with multiple systems. There is never a need to initiate a sync or worry about a connection. HiddenMind is designed for the server and client to communicate directly. As soon as a signal is detected, the information exchange automatically seeks out and updates any files — so the most recent version of data is always available.
“The real shortcoming in mobility is document management,” Walters acknowledges. “We’re hitting the restart button in the industry.”
Walters insists that as handheld devices, phones, and RIMs are becoming more and more prevalent at the enterprise level, whereas before they were primarily used for personal task and calendar management.
“This is a unique way to move data from the server to handheld and return to server updated,” Walters adds. “Information can be hosted elsewhere, viewed on a handheld and protected behind a firewall. This is leading edge active technology.
“There is really not anyone who wouldn’t have an interest in this [HiddenMind technology], most just don’t understand the value of building mobile applications, yet.”
Providing real-time data
HiddenMind client St. Jude Medical, based in St. Paul, MN, has deployed a 40-screen application for 700 sales representatives in their cardiovascular unit. “This allows their reps to be in the operating room and feed in updates of serial numbers and calibration setting for patient pacemakers automatically,” Walters explains. “This used to be done by hand, faxed and then entered into a database.”
Cnet Network’s online properties also uses wireless technology developed by HiddenMind that gives its employees a way to interact with timely, actionable information such as a updated product reviews and product purchases.
The goal is to give any revenue-generating employees access and interaction with information in real-time. Walters predicts such applications will be adopted by the financial services, field sales reps, healthcare, utilities, construction, transportation, and manufacturing industries initially.
Fact box on HiddenMind: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1450&k=27&l=14