Tapwave, Inc. officially launched their company and unveiled plans for creating a new product category — mobile entertainment gear. This new category of products was born from a revolutionary plan to address the mobile entertainment needs of technology enthusiasts (primarily ages 18 to 34), build an exciting new business model with recurring revenue streams, and leverage the power and creativity of developer communities. Tapwave’s first product offering, code-named Helix, will be available at retail and online later this year.
Silicon Valley veterans, Peng Lim and Byron Connell, founded Tapwave in May 2001. “Our goal was to create a new category of high-performance mobile entertainment products that let users enjoy console-quality video gaming, listen to music, view video or pictures, and manage their life.” said Lim, founder and CEO of Tapwave.
While most of the details will not be revealed until product introduction, Tapwave products are highly differentiated and include many unique and innovative features that offer the right combination of functionality, technology and portability for a true on-the-go entertainment experience. Features such as analog navigation, graphics acceleration, Bluetooth for multiplayer wireless gaming, a brilliant hi-resolution display, and a full complement of gaming controls deliver a console-quality gaming experience.
Also unique is Tapwave’s business model—a hybrid hardware/software revenue model designed to leverage the power and innovation of the largest mobile developer community (currently more than 260,000 registered Palm OS® developers) as well as take advantage of the “player characteristics” of the products and the popularity of interactive video gaming.
“Entertainment continues to be a growing segment for Palm OS developers. Tapwave together with Palm OS provides a powerful combination that will propel the future of mobile entertainment to an unprecedented level with the ability to achieve console-like game play on handheld devices,” said David Nagel, president and chief executive officer for PalmSource, Inc.
Tapwave has created a comprehensive program to attract and support a broad range of developers and publishers from the professional video game industry and the Palm OS community. Tapwave is also in the process of licensing, developing and publishing premier video game titles from companies like Activision, Infogrames, Midway, and others.
“Game developers have, to understate matters, been disappointed in handheld game systems to date. Their technology really limits our ability to create many categories of games, particularly those employing rich, dynamic graphics. The Tapwave platform will finally permit us to create titles more in line with the expectations of set-top console gamers,” said Steve Crane, Executive Vice President of Development, Midway Games.
“Tapwave represents an exciting milestone in the mobile gaming industry. Game developers will truly enjoy the power and flexibility of Tapwave’s hardware and software development environments,” said Brian Bruning, CEO of Fathammer. “Fathammer is proud to partner with such an innovative company.”
In addition to its strong developer programs, Tapwave has built strategic partnerships with industry-leading companies including Activision, ATI Technologies, Fathammer, Infogrames, Midway, Motorola, PalmSource and Yamaha.
Tapwave’s leadership team includes the original engineering executives from Palm (e.g., the first VP of Engineering from Palm and her successor), lead marketing strategist from Palm and HP (PCs), an executive producer from Electronic Arts and a sales executive with 23 years of experience from iconic companies such as Palm and Apple. Together, the Tapwave team has developed and introduced more than 30 industry-leading products from manufacturers as diverse as HP, Apple, Palm, Fujitsu, Electronic Arts, Maxis and Activision.
“Tapwave has an exciting vision and a strong leadership team in place to achieve its goals,” said Omid Tahernia, Vice President & General Manager of Motorola’s Wireless and Mobile Systems Division. “Tapwave is charting new territory in the consumer electronics space and by choosing our i.MX processor, they’ll offer users highperformance combined with the best battery life in the industry.”
“I’m VERY excited about Tapwave’s device and the market opportunity,” said Howard Tomlinson, CEO of Astraware. “I’m still a bit fazed about just how many of the “wish list” suggestions seem to have made it into real hardware! Thanks for listening to developers.”
“Currently no company is providing a complete solution that addresses the mobile entertainment needs of our target customer,” explains Byron Connell, founder and Sr. VP of Marketing. “Tapwave has a significant first-mover advantage in building key partnerships, content, and intellectual property. This combined with our unique knowledge of the customer, the mobile marketplace, and critical technologies, enables Tapwave to lead this new category.’