By Tessa Curry of SiliconSlopes.com
Try listening to multiple people speak on a radio channel all at once. It doesn’t work. New technology developed by Provo-based Multivoice solves that problem, letting up to 8 people speak over a radio channel. It represents a communications leap for construction workers, the military and even football coaches who can’t always “push” when they need to talk.
MULTIVOICE raised $5 million at a $25 million post-money valuation from OTTO, a Chicago-based wireless manufacturer.
MULTIVOICE, which has been operating in stealth mode for the past three years, provides a solution that enables simultaneous and secure group communications via radio network. Until now these group communications have always required ‘push-to-talk’ buttons, making it hard to simultaneously do work.
“The environments where these are useful, anytime you’re in an environment where you need two hands,” said Todd Rapier, MULTIVOICE’s President and co-founder. “Communication situations where people are having to put something down and then push to talk. We solve that problem.”
Ron Fraser, the company’s founder, invented the technology in his basement while trying to find a way to go beyond the technical limitations of traditional push-to-talk mobile radios. By doing this he could facilitate safer and more effective wireless communication.
“If you understand the tech, the first thing you’ll say is, you can’t do it. It’s never been done,” said David Politis, the company’s CMO and co-founder. “Then you’ll say really? And then you’ll try it and say, oh crap.”