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June 3, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:30pm

UK START-UP, DOT MATRIX PROMISES NEXT-GENERATION NET DEVICES

By CBR Staff Writer

New Cambridge UK start-up DOT Matrix, founded earlier this year by ex Acorn designers Martyn Gilbert and Steve Livingston to develop next generation network devices, has struck its first major deal with Menlo Park, California-based Diba Inc. Under the agreement, DOT Matrix will use Diba’s Information Appliance software as the foundation of its DOT terminal devices, due to be launched next month. The DOT terminal, described as a multi- purpose consumer internet terminal, is based on the Motorola Inc MPC821 Power PC variant, which includes an embedded communications processor. The first systems will be available in the third quarter of the year, and should include support for web-enabled television, electronic mail and videophone facilities. The Diba software includes support for the device’s inbuilt smart card reader, which gives information providers and retailers potential access to electronic cash-enabled DOT devices. Founder and managing director Gilbert was the designer of Acorn’s BBC Master machine back in the 1980s, with Livingston and Andy Bray also former key Acorn employees. It currently has four core employees, but according to Gilbert is about to grow dramatically on the strength of a number of contracts expected to be revealed shortly. The money comes from unnamed Far East sources and from the UK. DOT Matrix also has technology deals in place with Mondex International Ltd, Motorola Inc, Pippin licensees CAP Media Inc and real-time operating systems house Microware Systems Inc.

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