There’s a new digital writing technology startup that’s come to Portland, joining Oregon’s thriving tech community and adding to the growing number of startups within the region.
I recently spoke with Nashir Samanani, CEO and co-founder of QuirkLogic, Inc. a Canadian-based technology company and creator of the Quilla™, a 42” digital writing solution that facilitates real-time ideation. The device is used for upfront planning and brainstorming – just like a flip chart, or whiteboard, but it has the full power of digital.
“With Quilla, users are able to read and write like on paper,” explains Samanani. “It is fully portable and goes where your teams ideate. We’ve developed an ecosystem for real-time ideation that takes the complexity of the technology and hides it in the background, so users can focus on the creative engagement.”
The lightweight device is designed for teams that need better pen-based products when brainstorming and has lift and go mounts, as well as built in Wi-Fi functionality. A client can interact with content with the ability to delete, move and zoom in or out of the displayed document. Businesses are able to share workbooks with other users and include remote workers in real-time to further iterate on ideas together, and content is automatically saved and stored in a centrally managed library. Additionally, multiple Quilla devices can connect together side-by-side to expand content across all displays to increase writing space.
“Ideation is a fluid, spontaneous process,” notes Samanani. “People don’t want to go through a complicated set up in order to brainstorm, so our team developed technology that would capture the simplicity of the walk-up-and use experience - just like flipcharts and whiteboards.”
Founded in 2013, QuirkLogic is headquartered in Calgary, AB and contains a distributed, global footprint. Samanani says that the immediate focus in the near term is to service the North American market, establishing a greater presence in Portland, the Bay Area, Boston and New York.”
“We chose Portland Oregon, for our Western regional office for quick and easy access to the tech corridor from Seattle to San Jose,” says Samanani. “We hired an industry veteran, Matt Walsh, to lead our efforts, as he’s worked in the region for 20 years with Oregon-based tech companies. His knowledge of the area and key business relationships are invaluable, as we expand our reach and add to our team in the region.”
“Portland is a great city to build a team in, as there’s an abundance of rich tech resources available, plus it’s a great place to live,” says Walsh.
QuirkLogic’s greatest challenge remains managing the sheer scope of the company’s ambition to create a revolutionary product. This has meant inventing solutions for new concepts, including a large reflective display that is capable of always being on but relies on little power in order to run on one battery all day. Ultimately, the Quilla aims to be as easy to use as a flipchart or whiteboard but also to possess a large array of content management and sharing features to support iterative idea evolution.
“To make our vision a reality, we have had to create many new technologies,” states Samanani. “Never before has there been an e-paper product the size we wanted, and so we needed to form a development partnership with E Ink, the largest global e-paper company, to create a never before display breakthrough. We integrated separate custom designed pen/touch technologies, created our own electronics, implemented our own customized operating environments, designed and built our own applications, and built our own cloud services from the ground up.”
Samanani notes that QuirkLogic is delighted with the substantial engineering breakthroughs that the team and its partners have made in producing the world’s first large format, battery operated, digital writing tool for enterprise business.
Note: To view this article in the Portland Business Journal, please click here.