This statement was the stand-out line that left a deep impression on this writer at the close of our exclusive interview with the senior management of Trek 2000 International.
For the uninitiated, Trek 2000 is one of the few Singapore technology companies that have produced inventions that are mass-adopted globally. Specifically, the company is best known as the original inventor and patent owner of the ThumbDrive (i.e. USB Flash Drive) – the disruptive technology that killed-off the floppy disk.
Understanding the fast changing nature of the digital industry, Trek 2000 has rigorously invested in research and development over the years. To date, the company owns a library of more than 600 patents and has secured 360 granted patents as at 31 December 2011. This relentless dedication to innovation has bore many fruits, including the FluCard – a WiFi-enabled SD card, which can transform inert devices into products that are capable of transferring pictures and videos between users as well as uploading them onto ‘cloud’.
Expands Application, Eyes Corporate Tie-ups
Furthermore, Trek 2000 has set sight to expand its application into other areas such as consumer electronics, office automation and even medical industry. One positive development is its partnership with PLUS Corporation, whereby the company will supply 50,000 units of customised FluCard for use in PLUS’ interactive white-/copy-boards. Commenting on the deal, Tan remarked that the FluCard may well become the standard platform for other host devices and more of such corporate tie-ups could follow.
As for the responses so far, chief financial officer and executive director Gurcharan Singh pointed out that the FluCard was first introduced in Japan in July 2011 and subsequently rolled out in China and India. He noted that, in a bid to harness more recurring streams of revenue, the company has developed a set of FluCard mobile applications and has shared the development software kit with developers in Japan. Importantly, such initiatives are expected to generate greater consumer interest and in turn help to build an ecosystem around the FluCard.
Looking Into Cloud For Opportunities
“I see immense potential in ‘cloud’ technology,” Tan replied when queried on plans in building an ecosystem. He let in that partnership discussions are underway with a major Japanese telecommunication company, which is planning to offer WiFi and ‘cloud’ bundling services to subscribers. Accordingly, telecommunication companies around the world face the same challenge of not being able to monetise ‘cloud’ technology because people are not willing to subscribe for the service.
As such, the partnership aims to allow subscribers to use the FluCard to conveniently upload pictures and videos via hotspots and store them in the ‘cloud’. If the partnership does take off as planned, and if the FluCard does assume a key role in monetising the ‘cloud’ technology for telecommunication companies, we can only image the colossal financial benefits it would be for Trek 2000.
While many ground works have been put in place to ensure the success of the FluCard, it is still in the market introduction stage and thus now may be too early to judge if indeed it would live up to the high expectations. Still, keeping in mind that Trek 2000 had successfully demonstrated ‘destructive technology’ once through its patent ThumbDrive, one should not underestimate its prowess to repeat a success.