Saturday, June 16, 2001

Find-me software gets nibble

Cincinnati outfit wins H-P's heart

By John J. Byczkowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Newscasts used to ask, “It's 11 o'clock. Do you know where your children are?”

        A Cincinnati startup company hopes someday its product will be able to tell any parent that answer, within 10 feet.

        LDT Systems of Over-the-Rhine said Friday its location technology has been chosen as a preferred solution by Hewlett-Packard Co., which the company hopes will expose it to a range of potential customers.

        LDT's software takes advantage of global positioning system computer chips that are increasingly finding their way into small hand-held devices such as cell phones. They'll become even more pervasive under the FCC's “E911” initiative, which requires location technologies to be embedded in digital wireless telephones during this decade, to help locate people in emergencies.

        R. Michael Kalthoff, chief executive officer of LDT, said work on his company's technology has been going on for a year. “I think we're ready now,” he said. “We've been through a year of change — 180 degrees left, 180 degrees right.”

        LDT's software allows hand-held devices with its software to locate each other, within 3 to 11 feet. A parent with an LDT-equipped Palm Pilot, for example, could find a child carrying a cell phone or pager. LDT has filed for patents on its technology.

        The company plans to make money by licensing its technology, and with monthly service fees. Mr. Kalthoff said the company expects to announce its first customer in about two weeks.

        LDT has lived on about $600,000 in funding from angel investors, and is now trying to raise $1.5 million to fund further development.


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