Barco has acquired Taiwan-based AWIND, a provider of wireless content sharing and WiFi-enabled presentations.
This transaction advances Barco's strategy of leveraging its strengths in visualization to establish a leadership position in professional networking and collaboration, the company says.
AWIND, established in 2003, possesses strong expertise in screen-to-screen interactive technologies, an intellectual property portfolio including 28 patents covering plug-and-show techniques, conference control, universal multi-touch dual way interactivity, and screen activity analyzing and encoding, and a product portfolio including wePresent and MirrorOP, professional wireless presentation solutions that both serve the markets for meeting rooms and education. To date, AWIND has installed its wireless content sharing solutions on more than 500,000 screens worldwide.
"The acquisition of AWIND perfectly fits within Barco's strategy of broadening the company's market position beyond visualization to include networking and collaboration, strengthening the company's existing collaboration capabilities," said Eric Van Zele, president and CEO of Barco. "Over the past few years we have been focusing on the optimization of the image quality, reliability and cost of ownership of our projectors and displays. With that effort behind us, we are now concentrating on fully enabling wireless presentation and collaboration for our customers mainly in the professional AV markets and entertainment, using our screens, in the most intuitive way possible."
"AWIND has established a first-class reputation as a leader in wireless interactivity solutions for corporate AV and educational markets. By joining forces with AWIND, we are gaining important collaboration know-how, enhancing ClickShare's functionality and opening the door to a number of markets we do not fully address today, notably education and corporate meeting rooms," added Van Zele.
The growing importance of mobile devices, the demand for remote collaboration and at-home working/learning along with the growing acceptance of wireless communications are all driving the trend toward 'Bring your own device' in which people increasingly expect to use their mobile devices—such as smart phones and tablets—in a business setting. This trend poses a number of challenges for existing professional AV equipment.
AWIND brings Barco deep working knowledge of mobile technology and increases the value of its current products with first class collaboration solutions for customers on a worldwide basis.
AWIND's technology will immediately enhance ClickShare's functionality, primarily in the area of supporting mobile devices and apps, the company says. The addition of AWIND's wePresent will broaden Barco's product portfolio to cover the full spectrum of meeting rooms, from low- to high-end, enabling Barco to provide a unique offering in wireless presentation and collaboration.
"Through AWIND Barco will not only further strengthen its geographical presence in the Asian market, but will also benefit from the high quality capabilities we have developed in the area of wireless content sharing, while AWIND will benefit from the access to Barco's global sales and services network," said Kuo Lung Chang, CEO of AWIND.
AWIND will continue to develop its business with its extensive network of OEM customers and technology partners.