Google announced their deal to buy Waze – reportedly for $1.1 billion. Many have in the industry have credited Kurt and his team’s early work, covered in patents  7,628,704 and its extension 8,070,608, as having laid the foundation for platforms like Waze to collect spatial data.

“One of the lead inventors named on the patent, Kurt Uhlir, ran Navteq’s skunkworks for years, along with board-level projects. His patents are used for a number of video games including Flight Simulator X from Microsoft (going back to the gaming element of these patents).”

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Originally published by Sideqik


Have you heard about Google’s newest acquisition?

Our Co-Founder and CEO, Kurt Uhlir is the lead inventor named on the patent at the center of the discussion.

Google announced that the $1.1 billion acquisition of Waze closed on June 11th, after companies like Apple and Facebook were rumored to be in discussions to acquire Waze.

Google has had its eye on Waze, an interactive navigation app, less because of the millions of users of their application and more because of their technology that activates users to collect spatial data. Google currently spends tens of millions of $$$ per year to collect their own map data for Google Maps; many industry experts believe this acquisition will save Google a substantial portion of the current map building costs.

Kurt invented and developed fundamental industry technology which was part of Nokia’s $8.1 billion acquisition of NAVTEQ. Navteq and Nokia have continued to invest and grow in this space, as seen in their $175 million acquisition of traffic.com and Trapster (which had 18 million downloads by January 2013).

“One of the lead inventors named on the patent, Kurt Uhlir, ran Navteq’s skunkworks for years, along with board-level projects. His patents are used for a number of video games including Flight Simulator X from Microsoft (going back to the gaming element of these patents).” – according to TechCrunch article on Kurt’s inventions and the Waze acquisition.

When working as the head of Navteq’s skunkworks–the groups which directed innovation–Kurt patented technology that collects user location information during game play.

The companies using Kurt’s technology include Foursquare, Garmin, and Facebook. It is even used in games like Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.

Kurt continues to innovate with his latest venture, Sideqik, a partnership platform for marketers. Whatever the next big thing is, you can rest assured that Kurt will be involved.
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