The software company providing remote computer access was founded in 2002 on technology from the startup engine which was the AT&T Laboratories in Cambridge. It's platform technology is so powerful that the company claims it is suitable for any imaginable device with a screen including even those that have yet to be invented.
Among the partners for its technology are many of the world's largest technology companies including Google, Apple, Intel and Sony and its technology is used on over a billion devices worldwide.
RealVNC's technology gives computer, smartphone, and other device users the power to 'take over' another device remotely from anywhere in the world. This means IT workers can solve problems on people's computers or smartphones without having to leave their own desk, for example.
Unlike competitors, RealVNC's technology uses clever algorithms to send data only about the parts of a screen that are changing, rather than all of it, which minimises the amount of data sent and ensures that sharp images are sent quickly. This streamlined approach means the technology can be embedded in all kinds of third-party products and licensed out for new services. Its technical engineering is so advanced, it is suitable for any imaginable device with a screen - even those that haven't yet been invented.
It is now being recognised as a way of harnessing the power of smartphones and computers in an array of other products, including TV set top boxes and even household objects like fans and lamps.
Last year RealVNC announced that its software would be in Sony's Android based Xperia smartphones to allow users to access their phone safely whilst driving.
It is also working with Google to provide remote access capabilities for its Chrome products, and a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover is also bringing all the benefits of our smartphones into car infotainment systems and is expected to be inside new Jaguars and Land Rovers rolling off the production line this year.
The technology is also being built directly into millions of Intel chips so laptop users don't even have to download the software, and computers can be controlled remotely even if they are faulty and unresponsive or hibernating. Most distributions of Linux contain VNC technology, while Apple incorporates the software in its Remote Desktop Tool.
Ian Shott, who is on the judging panel and also chairs the Royal Academy's Enterprise Hub, said: "The sophistication of engineering behind RealVNC's technology has given them a game-changing proposition. The company is now on the cusp of fully exploiting this, and I fully believe they could be a billion dollar business with the next five years. RealVNC is an asset to the UK's exceptional crop of innovative businesses, and the company's ability to take this innovation and compete on a global scale really sets it apart."
The MacRobert Award is the UK's longest running and most prestigious national prize for engineering innovation, the gold medal was accompanied with a £50,000 cash prize from the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Cambridge companies have fared well in the MacRobert Awards in more recent times, Microsoft Research, Cambridge won for Kinect in 2011, CSR's single chip Bluetooth technology in 2005 and CDT's Light emitting polymers in 2002 – all technologies that have had commercial success.
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