Funding boost for company behind body wave antenna technology
A company co-founded by a Larne man has secured £300,000 worth of funding towards the further development of wearable technology.
AntennaWare, which was founded in December 2020 as a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast, raised the support through a seed funding round led by QUBIS, the university’s commercial arm.
The round included Techstart NI investment from Techstart Ventures as part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance suite of funds.
AntennaWare co-founders Dr Matthew Magill, from Larne and Dr Gareth Conway have almost 25 years of experience in the wearable technology sector, having conducted extensive research at The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at QUB.
Originally from the Craigyhill area, Dr Magill is a past pupil of St Anthony’s Primary School and Garron Tower.
After studying electrical engineering at Queen’s, he later undertook a PhD in wireless communications for wearables. “That was focused on the medical side of things, but we also noticed a gap in the market for lifestyle wearables,” Dr Magill added.
AntennaWare’s patented technology can greatly increase the range and reliability of wearable wireless devices they are integrated into.
This is done chiefly by the use of body waves, which provide a solution to wireless signals being blocked by the human body.
“The wearable devices can transmit further, with less dropouts and using less power, which helps facilitate applications thought previously impossible for medical monitoring, sports and fitness, wireless audio and wireless proximity detection,” Dr Magill added.
The funding awarded to the company, meanwhile, will facilitate the further development of prototypes, as well as bringing the technology to potential customers - an element previously hampered by lockdown restrictions over the past six months.
AntennaWare co-founder, Dr Gareth Conway said: “We are delighted to partner with QUBIS and Techstart Ventures which has enabled us to commercialise our world-leading antenna research. We are confident our antenna technology will be the go-to solution in the exciting and fast growing wearable technology sector.”
Hal Wilson, Partner at Techstart Ventures added: “Gareth and Matt have identified an opportunity to commercialise their unique technology in a number of interesting and growing markets. We are pleased to become their investment partner to help them realise their ambitions.”
Oisin Lappin, Corporate Finance Manager at QUBIS said: “We’re delighted to support AntennaWare as the company takes it next steps in the market. Wireless connectivity is an increasingly common feature in our everyday lives. AntennaWare has an exciting patented technology with application in a variety of markets including healthcare and sports.”