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engineering industry, those who need to simulate the fluid [or
air] conditions around a building, plane, or car," says González.
While other products are on the marketplace, they don't have
the visual effects of XFlow, which capitalized on Next Limit's
Hollywood experience and provides engineers a realistic visu-
alization of their tests or designs. "We're excited to be at the
top of a new technology," says González. "Our vision is that
we can bring visualization and science together to create new
paradigms for design and engineering."
The two brothers behind the company Zed founded the first
Internet ser vice provider in Spain, but they sold the original
company to Telefónica. Instead, they focused on the content
that major companies such as Telefónica could by then provide
In 1998, Zed's subsidiary Pyro Studios released Commandos,
Spain's first internationally popular video game. At the same
time, the company turned its sights on the growth of mobile
technology, in 2002 creating a studio solely for mobile video
games. Today the company offers 200 games on a variety of
platfor ms through major international players such as Nokia
Ovi Store and Apple's iPhone. "Right now we have contracts
with 130 telecom operators around the world, reaching more
than two billion mobile subscribers," says Miguel López-Que-
sada, Zed's manager of corporate communications.
The company's latest graphic offering builds on the success
of their video games and mobile offerings, and on the recog-
nition, according to López-Quesada, that "with digital enter-
tainment, a video game with a ninja or a spaceship becomes
incredibly popular in both India and Peru; it really is a universal
language," he says. In response the company created a subsidiary
called Ilion, dedicated to creating animated movies.
This year, Ilion is releasing Spain's largest production ever, an
animated movie called Planet 51, with a Thanksgiving weekend
release planned for more than 3,000 movie theaters in the U.S.
Zed also provides ser vices. These include mobile services for
banks and governments, such as mobile alerts the company devel-
oped for the health department in its home region of Valencia or
the technological platfor m for mobile voting in Russia. They're
also furnishing mobile content for the US National Basketball
Zed's mobile phone content is also used by Telefónica, Spain's
leading phone provider and one of the world's largest telecom-
munications companies. In order to foster innovation within the
company, Telefónica has its own R&D company, which operates
in five centers in Spain and two in Latin America and partners
with more than 150 universities. In 2008 Telefónica started roll-
ing out an optical fiber network in Spain to provide increasingly
rapid connectivity, along with innovations in the digital television
and mobile networks.
Current Telefónica research projects include the use of mobile
technology to develop tele-education and e-health, including
remote storage and reading of x-rays; remote diagnosis and reha-
bilitation; and applications to facilitate physician focus on patients.
Expertise in antennas on Earth has led some Spanish companies
to branch out into space. The company Rymsa was founded in
1974, specializing in antennas and today still has a successful terres-
trial antenna business. In 1988, Rymsa began producing antennas
that could broadcast from the first Spanish satellites. "From that
moment on," says Andrés Nubla, head of Rymsa's space division,
"we've participated in more than 200 satellites and have delivered
more than 2,000 pieces for onboard activities."
The company developed antennas that help locate the satel-
lite in the correct orbiting position for many customers around
the world, including the European Space Agency and Lockheed
Martin. They're currently developing antennas for the European
Mercury launch. Temperatures on Mercury can soar to heights
of around 400˚ or 450˚C, which renders aluminum, the typical
space-antenna material, unusable. Rymsa is developing prototypes
made of titanium and silver plating for the launch.
Mier also began as a television antenna company, founded
by CEO Pedro Mier's father and uncle more than half a cen-
tury ago. Mier, then a university professor, began collaborating
with other research groups to advance the company's technol-
ogy. They looked to the upcoming digital TV revolution and
PHOTO COURTESY OF PICTORION DAS WERK
Using software designed by Next Limit, special effects artists can
simulate the fluid or air conditions surrounding cars, planes, and
buildings with a high degree of accuracy.
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