Keyssa, a Campbell, California-based startup who showcased its wireless data sharing protocol at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, has announced that it will be working with Samsung Electronics Co. and Foxconn’s parent company, Han Hai Precision Co., to bring the startup’s revolutionary mass data sharing platform to smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices, according to a report from Reuters.
Dubbed ‘KISS Connectivity’, Keyssa’s technology will allow users to share and transfer large data files including music and movies between their smartphones, tablets, computers, and other consumer electronics like televisions without the use of traditional cables or a Wi-Fi connection. (Note: Keyssa’s ‘KISS’ technology is not to be confused with Apple’s AirDrop, which allows iOS and macOS devices to share data between one another wirelessly via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth — though the semblance is evident.)
In contrast, Keyssa’s ultimate goal, according to its CEO, Eric Almgren, is to eliminate the need for device-makers to build their products around cumbersome cable ports. This would not only allow manufacturers to slim their products down substantially, but with KISS technology onboard in the absence of physical ports, two computing devices held near each other would be able to transfer large files between them in a matter of seconds.
Almgren said his company has raised upwards of $100 million so far, thanks in large part to financial contributions from the likes of Samsung, Intel, and others, as well as a personal contribution from Tony Fadell, who’s affectionately known as the ‘Father of the iPod’ for his leading role in creating Apple’s personal MP3 player back in the early 2000s.
Together with Intel, Keyssa announced last October that it’d perfected a design allowing ‘KISS’ to function between larger computing devices like laptop computers, however the inherent news that Samsung and Foxconn have joined forces with the startup centers around bringing ‘KISS’ technology to smaller devices like smartphones and tablets.
Samsung’s chief of ventures, Shankar Chandran, noted that several of Keyssa’s team members were previously responsible for developing the now ubiquitous HDMI standard for audio/video connections between devices, and expressed his hope that ‘KISS’ technology will ultimately become the new standard one day.
“Standards tend to get ecosystems built around them in a fairly complicated way,” Chandran said, adding that “What’s needed is a bunch of industry players across the value chain saying they’re going to build to that standard. And that’s really what we have.”
Interestingly, the upcoming Essential Phone — a flagship smartphone device developed by Android OS creator, Andy Rubin, and his team — will be the first of such devices to feature truly wireless data transfer capabilities like Keyssa’s. It’s been confirmed, however, that Keyssa’s technology will not be the brains behind the Essential Phone’s data transfer feature. Keyssa indicated that while the two company’s had met on several occasions to discuss the possibility of licensing ‘KISS’, Essential ultimately decided “to proceed with a different supplier that could meet our performance specifications for the product.”