April 17, 2014

34 Weeks of OHA: #16

Company Name: Noser Engineering

How the OHA site classifies them: Commercialization Company

What the OHA site says about them: Noser Engineering Inc. – core contributor of the Android Platform is your integrator and customization partner.

What they do: Okay, let’s get this out of the way first off before we continue. Yes, this company is called Noser, which to a North American native english speaker is completely ridiculous and “oh my God they must be joking” and all that. Well, this company is Swiss, and you laughing at their funny Swiss name is ignorant and ethnocentric, and does not reflect well on you. Really, I’m ashamed.

Besides, I’m sure that there are many foreigners who laugh at the name Google, which is inherently silly, really.

Noser is a technical jack-of-all-trades company. They bill themselves as a ‘technology engineering firm’, and kinda do a little of everything: Linux support, service management, embedded and real-time systems, machine control, telco and mobile stuff, production data capture, RFID, software and system testing. There’s a heavy business systems bent here: custom solutions to enable business processes, management, etc. They’re a Microsoft Gold Partner and their site indicates that most of their development is done using .Net. They’re also the innovative co-creators, along with Brown Management Systems Inc., of the Brown/Noser Management Relation Interface, which has revolutionized the way employees communicate and interact with their managers and executives.

That last sentence was a joke.

There’s actually not a lot out there about these guys. They do business solutions, they do mobile, but I can’t find much in the way of detail. They’re kinda the oddest duck among the odd ducks in the OHA, simply because on the surface there’s no reason that this relatively unknown business solution provider with an anatomical name from Switzerland should merit inclusion.

What they bring to OHA and Android:

Here’s a clue. Check out this quote from Geri Moll, Noser’s CEO, on the OHA member quotes page:

Noser Engineering Inc. is a Swiss software engineering company that specializes in both embedded and mobile solutions. Working in close collaboration with the Open Handset Alliance, Noser contributed core functionality to the Android platform. This platform will revolutionize the mobile industry, and it will be an ideal ‘open’ development platform for the delivery of solutions to various industries. Noser’s experience with the Android platform allows us to better support operators, handset manufacturers and ISVs who plan to ship devices and services based on this platform.

I’ll repeat the important bit here, ’cause it helps pad out the length on this article: “…Noser contributed core functionality to the Android platform.” Core functionality. Wonder what that could be? Smell-o-vision?

Noser’s site plays up their customization and support services for Android: app development, training, integration, etc. That’s great. We need this kind of service ready-to-rock when Android goes live. But it gives us no clue as to what ‘core functionality’ Noser contributed.

A clue might lie in the in the former URL advertised for Noser on the OHA site. Currently, the link points to www.noser.com/oha. At some point in the past, however, this URL was different; if you search around the ‘net you can find instances where the OHA member list indicates what the noser link is www.noser.com/symphonie (such as this post from Nov 2007 at androidcommunity.com that lists the OHA members.) If you Google “noser symphonie” the first link is to the noser.com oha page, and if you type “www.noser.com/symphonie” into your browser that’s where you’re redirected…

And then the trail ends. I can find no other indication of what “symphonie” refers to. No clue. I’m open to conjecture and wild flights of fancy, however.

The story, in my mind, goes something like this: Noser Enineering and their swiss ingenuity cranks out some kind of wicked mobile tech; something game changing… revolutionary. It’s something for business, like a Business Intelligence Dashboard interface or fancy cross-platform email/calendar integration. It’s code-named “Symphonie”. Google gets wind of it – perhaps there was a relationship between Noser and Danger that Andy Rubin brought with him. Google wants it for Android. Maybe Google buys it from Noser, and also gives Noser OHA membership as a commercialization partner. Somehow the name makes it through, temporarily, onto the OHA page on the Noser site, an oversight that is later corrected.

I’m making this all up, of course. Don’t believe any of it. Just sniffing around (last nose joke, I promise).

I’m interested in any information anybody might have, however. Any Android or Noser insiders out there with the goods that want to, anonymously, give me the goods? What was Noser’s contribution? What is symphonie?

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