New Irish technology will target €40 million marketNew technology developed and tested in the town of Mallow as part of an unique collaboration between the third level sector, the local community and an Irish SME is set to target an international market worth an estimated €40 million.

Cork Institute of Technology, the Mallow Development Partnership and the Town Council have worked with be-spoke audio device firm, In Hand Guides, to develop and test new wireless technology targeting the international audio guide market.

The new technology is being tested in the recently-completed Mallow Rebel Trail which focuses on life in the town during the War of Independence and Civil War. The trail, which is backed by the Irish Heritage Council, will be formally launched as a major tourism product in Spring of next year.

Dr. Kieran Delaney, Research Development manager at the Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems at CIT, said the new technology which is being developed in Mallow would allow visitors an easy seamless journey as they viewed heritage, tourism or cultural attractions. “Tourists will be able to have a much richer experience. They will purchase a low cost guide and it does the rest. For local authorities and heritage organisations, the associated system will be easy to install and manage. This is just the beginning of what is possible; thanks to the support of Mallow Development Partnership and the Town Council, our work with In Hand Guides will now progress rapidly towards new heritage and business opportunities. The people of Mallow themselves will share in this process, which is an essential part of this unique project,” says Dr. Delaney.

The Rebel Trail is currently being accessed through audio technology developed by In Hand Guides which has hitherto been limited to interior locations by IHG clients such as The Book of Kells Exhibition Trinity College. Mallow has taken a lead in bringing this technology ‘onto the street’ allowing both visitors and local people to gain an interactive history exper-ience.

The collaboration between the town, business and third level is part of a large, ambitious programme to shape the economic future of Mallow town through innovation, the use of emerging technologies and the acquisition of new skills.

The research for In Hand Guides was facilitated by Mallow Town Council who have deployed sensor and wireless communications technology throughout the town.

Mayor of Mallow, Cllr Dan Joe Fitzgerald, said the town was delighted to have been chosen to play such an active part in the development of new technology. “It is great to be part of this process and it positions us very positively as a Hub Town. We have deployed the infrastructure in the town which allows us to be part of this research project but also means we can move on to other projects in the future.”

John McDonnell, chairperson of Mallow Development Partner-ship (MDP), said it was their ambition that the town would become a premier business location and tourism destination. “Today’s news demonstrates that Mallow can leverage new technologies to achieve those aims. “This is very important and is all part of a broader mission for the town. Today’s announcement gives a concrete example of what can be achieved through collaboration and new approaches to the development.”