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ECE Professor Hesham El Gamal named Innovator of the Year

Professor Hesham El GamalThe 2013 Innovator of the Year is Hesham El Gamal, professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering. He is a world-renowned information theorist with key contributions to wireless communications that have been recognized by industry and academia. His research has led to the development of pioneering technology that holds the promise of revolutionizing the mobile video delivery industry.

Dr. El Gamal is a prolific inventor. His record includes 12 issued U.S. patents and four pending patent applications. His first commercialization success at Ohio State was the licensing of code design for a multi-antenna mobile system by Webskye, Inc. The designs were adopted as a foundation for the WiMax wireless standards.

Dr. El Gamal is co-founder and CEO of inmobly, an Ohio State start-up company. Inmobly, short for “intelligence in mobility,” uses the predictability of human behavior to design efficient resource allocation algorithms for mobile networks. By launching a series of apps, inmobly aims to tackle network congestion to deliver a better user experience.

The high-speed requirements of multimedia content are straining cellular networks, creating congestion and delays. Inmobly’s Predictive Automated User-Centric Loading (PAUL) technology overcomes the bandwidth crunch by preloading videos for on-demand viewing. PAUL identifies music and videos people like and downloads new content from sources such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, CNN and ESPN SportsCenter to their mobile device before the user tries to stream it from the Internet.

Inmobly’s technology, which has already been accessed by more than 400,000 end-users, is being considered by Verizon, Sprint-Virgin Mobile and Kajeet as a platform for their next generation mobile video delivery. Inmobly is also working with the university to build a new experience for Buckeye fans that will deliver personalized in-stadium mobile videos on smart phones.

Inmobly started with two developers and a $50,000 TechColumbus grant. In three years, the company has grown to 20 employees and has raised $650,000 towards future development, including $500,000 from TechColumbus’ Pre-seed funds.