Cellport Systems, Inc., is an American company specializing in the invention, prototype development, patenting, and licensing of wireless connectivity technologies for Internet-connected vehicles and mobile devices. Cellport licenses its technologies to vehicle and wireless device manufacturers worldwide.
Cellport Systems was founded in 1992 as Cellport Labs by a diverse group of entrepreneurs and inventors. In 2000 the company’s name changed to Cellport Systems. From its inception Cellport has designed innovative connectivity systems for mass adoption.〔Helm, Leslie (1 November 1995) ("Wireless Car on Horizon: New Technology Allows an Automobile's Electronic Devices to Be Networked with a Cellular Phone." ) ''Los Angeles Times.'' Retrieved 22 January 2015.〕 The first product Cellport designed and prototyped was the CellBase™ mobile docking station under contract by licensee Hello Direct in 1993.
In 1994 a consortium of six cellular carriers (GTE, AT&T Wireless, PacTel (Pacific Telesis), Bell Atlantic, Ameritech, and Bell Canada) funded a Cellport research project focused on interfacing digital wireless data services to vehicle networks.
Further equity infusion from AT&T Wireless in 1995 allowed Cellport to hire design architect Chuck Spaur from the NCAR who, in 1996, led the design of the MobileWeb™ 9700 platform, a system using wireless data technology to connect vehicle internal systems as a node on the Internet. The first public showing of the Internet-connected vehicle was made with a real-time demonstration using CDPD on March 25, 1996, at Cellport’s booth at the CTIA conference in Dallas, Texas.
On April 29, 1997, Mercedes-Benz , as noted by ''The New York Times,''〔
Markoff, John (29 April 1997) ("Daimler-Benz to Exhibit an Early-Stage Internet Car." ) ''The New York Times.'' Retrieved 31 October 2014.〕 made a public demonstration of their WebCar™ which included Cellport’s MobileWeb platform. Other vehicle manufactures using the MobileWeb 9700 and 9720 to investigate vehicle wireless connectivity included Caterpillar, Chrysler, John Deere, Motorola, Cisco Systems, and Omron.
During 2000, Cellport engineers developed a second-generation universal mobile docking station, the CP-3000™, addressing the trend of lawmakers seeking to prohibit hand-held wireless phones in cars.〔Hudson, Kris (22 January 2001) ("Cellport Set for Hands-Free Surge." ) ''The Denver Post.'' Retrieved 22 January 2015.〕 The hands-free kit consisted of a docking station, microphone, speaker, antenna, and adapter, and could be used with nearly any mobile phone.〔Sink, Mindy (19 August 2001) ("Grass-Roots Business; A New Car Phone (No Strings Attached)." ) ''The New York Times.'' Retrieved 19 January 2015.〕 Cellport showcased its product in five General Motors vehicles on display at the 2001 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.〔ORC Staff (30 October 2001) ("Cellport Adds Safety, Convenience to GM Flagship Vehicles at SEMA Event." ) ''Off-Road.com.'' Retrieved 22 January 2015.〕 Initial customers and licensees for this product were Motorola,〔Telecompaper (18 June 2002) ("Cellport Licenses Connectivity Technologies to Motorola." ) Retrieved 31 October 2014.〕 Omron, Peiker Acustic, and Harman International. Other automotive manufactures using the CP-3000 technologies and patents included Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi.
In 2001, Kyoto-based Omron formed a partnership with Cellport to market an automobile anti-theft system and develop a technology to convert text messages into voice messages.〔Schmetzer, Uli (13 July 2001) ("3 Companies Boast Future of Anti-Theft Equipment." ) ''Chicago Tribune.'' Retrieved 22 January 2015.〕
At the Geneva Motor Show in 2005, Cellport announced a new security architecture: Secure Telematics Framework, designed to protect vehicles against cyber-attacks and enhance user privacy. Incorporating PKI (public key infrastructure) and federated security models, the system is said to offer improved transaction security for commerce as well as during access to vehicle resources.
By mid-2010, some 2 million Internet-connected cars arrived in auto showrooms. Annual licenses and royalties from Cellport's patent portfolio generated more than $10 million a year in revenue.〔Avery, Greg (20 May 2010) ("Cellport Is Back, as Cars Become Web-Friendly." ) ''Denver Business Journal.'' Retrieved 19 January 2015.〕
In 2012 Cellport initiated the development of the context aware vehicle architecture (CAVA) project leading to the third-generation Cellport III™ universal mobile docking station. The Cellport III platform is designed to improve secure use of mobile services and applications. Cellport III it is intended to connect smartphones, tablets, and public-safety radios to vehicle resources. Initial markets for this platform are commercial fleets and public-safety vehicles. Cellport projects that the new platform will be available for licensing in 2015.
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