Local company provides strategic technical counsel.
For Philadelphia-based Imirage, Web site development and technology is all about increasing access to Web sites and paving the way for long-term use of the Internet. We recently spoke with Imirage CEO Jim Ludlow about the company and its launch of the Liberator platform, a Web site conversion tool that extends the Internet to wireless devices and allows the visually impaired to hear what others see online.
What does Imirage do?
Imirage is an interactive professional service firm in the metro Philly area that provides strategic counsel and technical solutions through the integration of three disciplines: usability, branding, and technology. Our services include strategy development, brand extension, user interface design, e-commerce applications, custom application development, Web site-managed maintenance programs, content management, traffic generation and analysis, online promotions and campaigns, and collaboration tools.
When and how was the company founded?
I founded Imirage along with Kevin Justice back in 1994. My experience is composed mostly of corporate management and technology development–I actually was the first electronic-commerce manager to head up initiatives involving EDI, vendor managed inventory, intercompany process improvement, business process redesign and automatic data collection–so I was well prepared for the business processes and objectives necessary to run Imirage. Kevin had over 15 years’ experience managing high-visibility projects including Web sites, corporate intranets, CD-ROM titles, electronic marketing campaigns, sales training initiatives, and interactive programs for Fortune 500 clients.
Imirage just released the Liberator platform. Could you tell us about this?
Simply stated, Liberator converts the content in an existing Web site so it can be accessed by wireless mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs. But it also contains a VXML application which allows users seeking information from a Liberator-enabled Web site to hear online content via a conventional dial-up telephone, extending the reach of Web content to visually impaired users.
Nothing else competes with Liberator at any cost. It’s the first widely available platform to allow a single Web site to perform double duty: conventional and wireless. Although Liberator can extend the reach of any conventional Web site, the principal market for wireless implementation is any organization that has content that is equally or more useful “on the street” instead of on the desktop-for example, airports, news media, and entertainment and recreation venues.
Users don’t need a mobile device to see how Liberator works. For example, they can see Lehigh Valley International Airport’s conventional Web site on a desktop PC at www.lvia.org, then compare it with the wireless version at wireless.lvia.org: same Web site, same dynamic flight information, but two different faces.
What’s next from Imirage?
We will continue to focus on leveraging new business for developing commercial Web sites and interactive projects. However, during the past three years, we have diversified our skill base to include total interactive strategy development, supporting Internet applications, as well as development of unique, standalone, “step-out” Web-based products and services.
One example is ProfitForce, our new commercial workplace application that helps team members share information to support process goals. Every team participant is connected and aware. ProfitForce’s relational messaging system allows real-time collaboration, while its group calendar system allows management of a team’s time, regardless of the tasks required. It also features contact management capabilities.
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