Innovators: Eric Giler and Tracey Ho
Ages: 60 and 39
Chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Speedy Packets, a two-year-old, 12-employee startup in Cambridge, Mass.
Form and function
For 30 years, the main communication language of the Internet has been TCP/IP. Speedy Packets says its SpeedyTCP transfers so-called packets of data more than 10 times faster and helps keep files loading without delays.
To develop Speedy’s software, startup veteran Giler turned to Caltech professor Ho’s network research.
The issue with TCP/IP is its perfectionism. If a packet of data doesn’t arrive when it’s supposed to, the receiving device requests a replacement and waits, stalling the process—say, by freezing a video.
Speedy’s Amazon-hosted software keeps things loading by producing a stream of backup packets in case some from the primary stream don’t arrive
The company has raised $3 million in convertible debt.
The software could either remain on Amazon servers as a subscription service or be embedded into apps (Netflix, Hulu) or hardware (PCs, routers), according to Giler.
Giler says he’s showing off Speedy’s software to Internet service providers and makers of streaming hardware and software, though he hasn’t made a sale. Conrad Clemson, general manager of Cisco’s ISP video unit, calls Speedy’s potential for Internet acceleration “pretty neat.”