Apple co-founder, Steve (“Woz”) Wozniak, has launched a new company called Wheels of Zeus (wOz), which will purportedly focus on designing new consumer electronics wireless products to help everyday people track everyday things.
wOz is designing new consumer electronics wireless products that will have universal appeal among consumers and corporations alike,” Wozniak said in announcing the company. “Recent advances in global positioning software (GPS) systems and antenna technology coupled with the declining cost of processing power and two-way networking make the possibilities for new devices and services really exciting.”
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The company has secured US$6 million in first round funding from Mobius Venture Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Palo Alto Investors. Joining Wozniak on the board of Wheels of Zeus is Greg Galanos, managing director at Mobius Venture Capital, a private equity venture capital firm. Tim Draper, the founder and managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, will serve as chairman of the company’s newly formed advisory board, which will include top executives and industry innovators. Draper Fisher Jurvetson is a start-up venture capita firm.
The Apple co-founder has been extremely busy lately. In December he joined the board of directors of a Silicon Valley startup called Danger Inc. that’s creating a handheld Internet device.
Danger — founded in January 2000 by former Apple, WebTV and Philips execs, Andy Rubin, Joe Britt and Matt Hershenson — plans to launch its first Internet product, the US$200 “hiptop” early this year. The handheld device, which is designed to compete with the Blackberry pager, will allow users to check e-mail, surf the Net and store personal information. Woz will advise the company in engineering and entrepreneurial matters. His position at Danger marks the first company board position he has taken in over four years.
Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products including the Apple I and II, and influenced the Mac. He was awarded the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor bestowed America’s leading innovators by the President of the United States and, in 2000, was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame.
What’s more, Wozniak was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for “single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.”
He also founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.