Metakall User Trial Starts in Trinity College Dublin
Posted on: 29 April 2009
Metakall, a WiFi authentication and metering system, has begun its second user trial in Trinity College Dublin for students and staff, allowing access to the internet from mobile devices and allowing them to make phone calls over the internet in cooperation with FreeSpeech.ie.
Metakall, which is funded by an Enterprise Ireland grant, may be among the first of 300 companies to spin out under the new joint TCD/UCD Innovation Academy announced recently by the two universities along with the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Minister for Education and Science.
Headed up by Dr. Hitesh Tewari, Principal Investigator, Distributed Systems Group, School of Computer Science and Statistics, an expert in internet micropayments, the project has a working system but is still working on usability, testing, and on creating new clients for different platforms. Several companies including Eircom and O2 have expressed interest in the technology developed by Metakall, and talks are ongoing regarding a possible installation in San Jose.
The Metakall system was initially trialled in August last year in TCD. Significant changes have since been made to the technology, which consists of a client which runs on the user’s laptop or mobile phone, connecting them to the wireless internet system on the TCD campus as well as in satellite sites in Trinity Hall, St. James’s Hospital and Santry.
This client, which runs under Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and the new Windows 7 operating system, as well as on several mobile phones, utilises Metakall’s Zero Touch Authentication technology to allow users to use the internet on their netbook or phone. Clients for MacBooks and both the iPhone and the iPod Touch are in active development. Clients for Google Android and the Palm Pre are planned.
Ultimately, the team hope to spin out and form their own company to market the technology commercially at home and abroad. Metakall received € 400,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland for the initial development of their technology.