In 1998 two inventors, Nazim Kareemi and Cyrus Bamji, struck up a conversation with an informal gathering of alumni from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Santa Clara, Calif. Bamji mentioned his concept for controlling electronic devices from a distance--in essence, a new form of remote control. "This idea was humming in my head for some time," he says, "but it didn't gel."
Kareemi, an electrical engineer who had founded PenWare (now owned by Symbol Technologies), a producer of machines that record signatures electronically, took a pragmatic interest in the problem. His experience in the technology business complemented Bamji's ongoing supply of ideas, making the two an ideal team. For his part, Bamji is a jack-of-all-trades and an expert at most. He earned a collection of degrees, from math to computer science, plus a doctoral degree in electrical engineering and computer science, from M.I.T. Then he worked as an architect of electronic devices and systems at Cadence Design Systems in San Jose, Calif.
This article was originally published with the title Type It Anywhere.