Meet YBLTV Spotlight StartUp: MultiTaction
YBLTV: What is it the company does?
MultiTaction: MultiTaction is a leading developer of advanced visualization and collaboration software. The company’s solutions are in use by some of the largest corporates in the world. In addition, the company also manufactures a completely unique touch platform that can be seen in some of the most advanced universities and museums globally. With solutions deployed in over 50 countries and offices across the United States, Asia and Europe.
YBLTV: What inspired the company to start-up?
MultiTaction: Founded by a group of research scientists that were studying advanced user interfaces at the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology. We developed a unique piece of touch tracking technology, but after exhaustive testing we discovered there wasn’t any hardware commercially available that could keep up with the tracking system they had developed – so we invented one!
That was our first generation touch screen and to prove the technology it was installed in a public place where people’s reactions and interactions could be recorded. A demonstration of the system was published on the web and then the real fun started. The feedback and number of commercial enquires that followed the video led to the formation of the company now known as MultiTaction. In case you were wondering, ‘taction’ is Latin for touch. We now have thousands of displays deployed in over 50 countries for F500 corporations, museums, universities and retail environments.
YBLTV: How did you go about starting up, did you apply for funding or did you self-fund the project? If so, where did you secure funding from?
MultiTaction: The company has combined its bespoke hardware and software expertise to become a solutions provider and the appointment of CEO Pete Malcolm in March 2016, a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years’ experience in the IT software industry ranging from start-ups to software giants, was designed to further support this evolution. We recently secured an additional round of growth capital funding of €7million from Harbert European Growth Capital Fund (HEGCF).
YBLTV: What is your next big target?
MultiTaction: Long winter nights in Finland working on new collaboration software for our touch screen solutions … now it’s getting lighter and we’re all set to go. We’ve just launched MT Canvus-Connect at Europe’s leading AV show, Integrated Systems Europe 2017, in Amsterdam. We think it heralds the future of work!
Some 18 months ago we sold global manufacturing company Flex a 22-screen MT iWall to transform its 14,000 global network into a single hive mind. It was hot news in the Wall Street Journal, hotter still when Flex signed up to help Nike cut innovation from months to weeks. We thought we had it made! But there was one last piece of the visual collaboration puzzle missing.
Corporate clients like Flex and IBM were saying, ‘we love your solution but we need connect functionality; we want to be able to collaborate in real-time across geographies!’ So we had to go back and start programming again!
We’ve spent many hours working on our solution in MultiTaction lab in the Old Ford Motor Company building on the harbour side in Helsinki: an even more intelligent surface, and some super C++ coding to make it work as one. The Holy Grail was to let remote users on satellite screens access, manipulate and input data in real-time, wherever they were. Now it’s done we think we have finally unlocked corporate potential around visualizing big data, socializing ideas and working collaboratively!
YBLTV: What makes this idea different?
MultiTaction: All of our software solutions are designed from the ground up to work well in touch enabled environments. This also lends itself to a unique design point which is the way that collaboration is managed. Unlike other collaboration systems that attempt to channel live video feeds across a network, the MultiTaction solution only ships touch or move data which means that the interaction is practically in real-time. Collaboration is all about getting a better outcome by having the right people working together, ideally in the same room. Now thanks to Canvus-Connect you can get close to that by working together in real-time.
YBLTV: What are some of the trends you are most excited about in 2017?
MultiTaction: The most exciting trend we are seeing is the move towards visual collaboration. This sometimes gets confused with video–conferencing which is wrong. Visual collaboration is all about technology-enabled collaboration that brings multiple data sources together in an environment that is accessible from different devices in many locations.
Business Name: MultiTaction
Owner Name: Jonathan Priestley
Company Website: www.multitaction.com
Company Twitter: www.twitter.com/multitaction
Company Facebook: www.facebook.com/multitaction
Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/multitaction