One of the central figures behind the world's first web cam and founder of several technology startups is working on a new project which he says if he gets right will burst dramatically into the public sphere before too long.
Quentin Stafford-Fraser is one of Cambridge's true internet pioneers, a ground-breaking innovator specialising in building graphics based networking technology.
As a young research assistant within Cambridge University's Computer Laboratory, he helped write the software that allowed everyone in the building see how full the Trojan Room coffee pot was before making the trip to get there, a system that was eventually incorporated into the world wide web, becoming its first web cam.
Later at Olivetti Research (eventually AT&T), Stafford-Fraser helped develop Virtual Network Computing, which formed the basis for tech company, RealVNC. He co-founded DisplayLink, which runs multiple displays over simple networks from single machines and which to date has raised $75m. He's co-founded Camvine, a cloud-based digital signage company, Ndiyo, a project to bring down the cost of computing using ultra-thin client computing (which was taken further by DisplayLink).
Now, as with Camvine, DisplayLink and Ndiyo, he's back in the garden shed (this one has three Cat-5 cables running to it) seeing if his latest project has the legs to run.
Called Telemarq, Stafford-Fraser is revealing very little about the project which is in its very earliest stages, mainly because he wants to make sure the technology is viable before applying for the relevant patents.
What he does say is that Telemarq is dedicated to improving the way we communicate with each other graphically and will be done 'remotely', a project he's been wanting to work on for some years and has more time for now that he is no longer working full time at Camvine.
"It's in the general area of communicating graphics over a network - something I always seem to come back to one way or another - Webcams, VNC, Ndiyo, DisplayLink, Camvine, they're all really about moving graphics over various distances," he said, adding: "I've no idea whether it will amount to anything, but I'm having fun trying!"
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