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23 December 2014

12 spin-outs of Christmas: Keyssa

As the festive season comes around again, Global University Venturing looks back at some of the most impressive technologies driving academic spin-outs which have crossed our pages over 2014.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor


Institution: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Sector: Computer Components


MIT’s Sentient AI may have great ambitions to be the most advanced computer ever made (or possibly third, for fans of the Hitchhiker’s Guide of the Galaxy), but it is nothing without the components upon which it is built.

Another company to emerge from stealth recently may be able to help with that. Launching from UCLA in 2009 as Waveconnex and appearing in November as Keyssa, the spin-out is looking to revolutionise computer connectors using its ‘kiss connectivity’ technology. Keyssa’s technology works by placing two connectors within close proximity where they “kiss” and exchange large volumes of data, reaching speeds of up to six gigabits per second – capable of downloading a 1 GB file in two seconds.

When deployed into smartphones and laptops, the devices free up considerable space compared to its current wired and wireless counterparts while remaining low powered and extremely efficient at transferring high volumes of data at speed. Connectors are a $50bn annual industry, and it has remained largely unchanged while everything else in computing has advanced. Keyssa’s tech changes that, and could inspire a new wave of design innovation in future smartphones and tablets.

Seeing as the company only just revealed itself, it may be too early to estimate just how much of an impact the tech will have over the coming year. Yet, it will surely be one to watch if and when companies begin to utilise the technology in their products.

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