A North East firm which creates computer systems for technophobes is jetting to Germany to launch its latest product.
Newcastle-based Broadband Computer Company (BCC) has spent 18 months working on COAST (Computer On A Stick), a complete software system with a number of security features that fits on a USB stick.
COAST has been created for those who are especially privacy conscious as it keeps location, browsing history, identity and private data safely locked away from prying eyes.
All connections are made via a virtual private network and no trail is left on the computer used.
Andy Hudson, chief operating officer for BCC, will launch the product at CeBIT, the world’s largest expo of its kind in Germany, where it has already stirred up excitement with potential investors and distributors.
Hudson said: “CeBIT is the biggest computer expo in the world and something like 300,000 people go through its doors in Hamburg over the course of five days.
“We’re not looking to sell COAST to the public but want to link up with distribution channels and we hope to find some at the event.
“UKTI has given us assistance to go, and we’ll be there until it closes on March 14.
“We’ve already got some partners in Germany and the UK and next week we are meeting with a big distributor in the UK who puts a lot of products into Tesco.
“We’ve picked Germany for the launch because they have a real appetite for this. A right of privacy is actually written into the German constitution, unlike here where information can be sold to the highest bidder.
“COAST is perfect for people who are concerned about people snooping in on what they are doing. You simply put in the USB stick and it opens up a desktop that works through a secure encrypted tunnel.”
BCC started life in 2007 when music and TV producer Andy Hudson, who did not use a computer until he was in his 50s, became frustrated with the workings of Microsoft’s operating systems and set about designing a more user-friendly operating system.
The seven-strong team has, since then, put all of its resources into research and development.
Initially it worked on building and raising awareness of a system called Alex, which enables the computer illiterate to get online and make the most of basic IT functions.
Revenue from Alex has been ploughed into COAST and they hope to see a return on that investment next year.
Hudson added: “We hope to see money come in from Coast in 2015 and we’re also in talks for a flotation on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange because there is so much interest in the German market for what we do.”