DeathWatch: WiQuest shuts down

Tech Startups 3.0 · November 6, 2008 · Short URL:


"WiQuest, one of the leading companies backing Wireless USB, has shut down.

According to EE TimesWiQuest shut its doors on Friday. Repeated phone calls to sales staff, communications personnel, a receptionist, and others were not answered or responded to. However, Steve Brightman, marketing director for the WiMedia Alliance, confirmed that WiQuest closed its doors on Friday.

Brightman speculated that WiQuest failed to meet some performance or milestone criteria put in place by its venture-capital investors. "Wouldn't it be nice to turn around and say it means nothing?" Brightman asked drily. "Unfortunately, they've been a significant contributor to the WiMedia Alliance for years...we're going to miss them."

But Brightman said that Wireless USB is not dead, a conclusion that several publications are leaping toward as they get wind of the story. I'm blogging this, versus writing a straight news story, as I tend to agree with him.

I do think, however, that several factors are working against Wireless USB in general, points that I asked Brightman to comment upon. (Brightman represents the WiMedia Alliance, which drives the use of wireless technology in conjunction with multimedia applications; the more prosaic UWB technology on the PC has been spearheaded by the USB Implementer's Forum.)

As you might recall, Wireless USB simply replaces a wired USB conection with a high-speed, short-range wireless link. Sounds great, huh? Not if you're paying a couple of hundred dollars for the privilege, and not if one of the links is attached to a common fixed point, like a printer or television. Do you really value a 480-Mbit short-range connection enough to pay $200 or even $100 for the privilege? Remember, nothing's really stopping a mobile worker from scooting over and connecting a USB cable for high-speed data transfers, or using 802.11n or some other existing Wi-Fi technology to accomplish the same thing."c

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