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Young Kiwi Jet Sets To Cannes For Award Ceremony

The Handley Brothers

In An Anna Paquin Oscar Moment:
Young Kiwi Jet Sets To Cannes For Award Ceremony

Two young Kiwi technology entrepreneurs, Geoffrey and Derek Handley, have catapulted their company into the Oscars of wireless technology with an innovative idea to overcome New Zealand's high rate of skin cancer.

The Handley's are no strangers to the limelight having recently completed a successful listing of Feverpitch International on the NZSE NCM Board, of which Derek serves as Managing Director.

The Handley's company, The Hyperfactory, has been nominated as a finalist at the prestigious GSM Association Awards which are the premier global stage for recognising excellence and innovation across the wireless industry.

Geoffrey Handley will represent New Zealand for the first time at the awards, to be held in Cannes, France on Tuesday night, as a nominee in the Applications and Services category - Best Consumer Application or Service Award for 'UVTXT'.

The Hyperfactory's UVTXT service was designed last year with New Zealand's high rate of skin cancer in mind.

Geoffrey Handley says Vodafone was excited about the UVTXT concept and commissioned The Hyperfactory to develop it so Kiwis enjoying their summer holidays could stay safe in the sun.

He gives an example: "Boaties out on Auckland's harbour can send a blank text message to UV and the area code - UV09 - with the desired time, e.g. 12 and they will immediately receive a text message on their Vodafone mobile stating the burn time for that area at 12pm."

There is no doubt UVTXT is quirky and a world first but it will be up against intense competition from huge multi-national corporations - America Online, Sonera Corporation and Codeonline.

Regardless of whether it wins The Hyperfactory's nomination and attendance at the awards will put New Zealand firmly on the wireless world map.

Geoffrey Handley thinks it is strangely fitting a country at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean can be leaders in the wireless world.

"We're putting our flag up and saying this is where the ideas and applications are. New Zealand is the place - let's do business. Location is irrelevant in the wireless world," he says.

Vodafone New Zealand is supporting the finalist's visit to Cannes and a member of Vodafone's LaunchPad team will be accompanying Geoffrey to the awards dinner. Meetings with other developers and Vodafone UK have also been scheduled.

"It would have been nice to have government backing, but maybe now they'll see what we're about and be interested in our next steps," says Geoffrey.

The Hyperfactory is poised for growth with rapid expansion plans including exporting its applications internationally. Vodafone launches The Hyperfactory's UVTXT service in Australia next week.


About the GSM Association The GSM Association is the world's leading wireless industry representative body, consisting of more than 600 second and third generation wireless network operators and key manufacturers and suppliers to the wireless industry.

The Association's members provide digital wireless services to more than 646 million customers (end 2001). Today's GSM accounts for approximately 70 percent of the total digital wireless market today.

About The Hyperfactory The Hyperfactory, based in Auckland, is a leading wireless application developer with a specific focus on SMS applications and solutions.

By working with best of breed partners The Hyperfactory produced commercially viable ideas and invests in developing unique and groundbreaking services for the global market.

Released on behalf of The Hyperfactory by Porter Novelli New Zealand.

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