The Bitter End For Vivato?

Towards the end of 2002, you couldn’t be involved in the WiFi world without hearing story after story about Vivato, a company that was working on a WiFi switch with tremendous claims and, apparently, a great demo. People talked about how, with a single Vivato box, you’d be able to cover wide areas with a strong WiFi signal that would follow you where you go. There were some early skeptics who never believed the system worked — but the story was just too good for some. The company parlayed that hype into a ton of cash. Then the troubles began. The whispers were that the technology didn’t work — and couldn’t work. Then the executives started bailing out in droves — and it just never seemed to stop. Combined with rumors that they ran through all the huge pile of cash they raised in record time, it began to look like the whole thing was nothing more than a good story. Last year, they said that the company was going to try again, avoiding its earlier mistakes, but it wasn’t long until the company was in trouble again. Now, it appears that the company is days away from shutting down, and is desperately seeking a buyer. It’s quite a story, but it’s one that seems to fade from memory pretty quickly when the next mysterious shiny new wireless technology without any details starts getting attention. Update: According to two separate other sources, they’re dead as of today. Update 2: Glenn Fleishman, of course, has all the gory details.

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