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September 25, 2008 10:08 AM

Seattle's Mod Systems lands $35 million, big role in SD card media rollout

Posted by Brier Dudley

Seattle digital media distribution systems vendor Mod Systems is going to play a big role in the rollout of a new system for selling and playing digital media on SD flash memory cards.

As part of the deal, it's receiving a $35 million strategic investment from Toshiba, NCR and others.

The company's technology is going to be used in kiosks and self-service devices that NCR is installing in retail stores. It will also be used in devices such as set-top boxes that Toshiba is developing to play the media.

Under the initiative, consumers will download digital content to Secure Digital (SD) cards and portable devices such as mobile phones through kiosks and other self-service devices deployed, integrated and maintained by NCR at retail stores, airports, quick-service restaurants and other outlets. Toshiba will develop dedicated set-top boxes for the service, and develop and market high capacity SD cards for the system, improving the speed of downloads in the future.

The kiosks and other self-service devices will use the Mod Retail Enterprise System for "multichannel" digital media delivery, which enables digital content to be managed and distributed securely using portable devices and portable storage media, including SD memory cards.

POD with music_movies.jpg

Mod's system, pictured here, can also be used in stores to sell and download media directly to portable players, optical discs and other media. Chief Executive Mark Phillips' comment in the release:

"Digital media has not been able to truly impact sales at retail and therefore has not become truly pervasive and accessible to all consumers. Our goal of creating richer retail destinations for digital entertainment will be furthered with Toshiba and NCR as strategic partners. We are humbled and excited to have leaders in consumer electronics and self-service accelerate our vision for entertainment in retail."

For a little background, check this column that I wrote in January 2007 about Toshiba engineers developing media distribution systems based on SD flash memory cards that they demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Mod employs 40 but the infusion will lead to a bunch of hiring. A spokeswoman said the company "will be growing dramatically, both locally and abroad."

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