ossbow Technology has been at the vanguard of smart sensor technology for more than a decade, and has shipped hundreds of thousands of smart sensors to more than 4,000 customers worldwide. Today, Crossbow is a leading supplier of wireless sensor technology and inertial MEMS sensors for navigation and control.
1995 – The company is founded by Richard Newton and Mike Horton on the idea that small, solid-state sensors will revolutionize the fields of sensing and control.
1996 – Crossbow begins shipping a line of high performance Tilt and Acceleration sensors, which have been used in safety systems for construction equipment, aerial lifts and cranes. The product line today includes the CXTD series devices, which are used in pointing and tracking systems for airborne cameras and munitions platforms.
1997 – The company raises financing from the Cambria Group and industry angel investors to fund a more ambitious smart sensor project – the world’s first precision Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) based on MEMS sensors.
1998 – The company releases the IMU300, the first complete inertial navigation system based on MEMS sensor components. It provides true six-degree-of-freedom sensing (x, y, z, roll, pitch and yaw) with a precision previously seen only on complex, costly and large mechanical systems.
1999 – The company raises financing from Morgenthaler Ventures and existing investors to realize two more ambitious ideas. The first idea is to take the company’s proven IMU technology into manned aviation, which requires the rigors of FAA review and certification. The second idea reflects the growing role of the internet in society: What if Crossbow’s smart sensors shared data wirelessly?
2000 – Crossbow’s IMU line enjoys commercial success due to its small size, light weight, low power requirements, and low cost compared to competing solutions with comparable performance. The product line today includes the VG series devices, which are used in a variety of applications, including the flight control systems of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
2001 – The company becomes the first commercial provider of Wireless Modules using the Berkeley-invented “mote” standard – a smart sensor device, which includes processor, memory, sensor, power source, and radio in a package that can be as small as one’s palm.
2002 – Crossbow becomes the supplier to a DARPA program for creating the largest real-world test of Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) technology that had ever been made. The company raises strategic financing from Intel Capital and in-licenses certain wireless technology from Intel Corporation.
2003 – Crossbow releases the AHRS500GA, the first ever FAA-certified MEMS Attitude & Heading Reference System (AHRS) for the general aviation market segment.
2004 – The company begins to see design wins for its AHRS in retrofit “glass cockpit” applications, where the classic dial gauges for pilot instrumentation are replaced with LCD panels and computer-driven graphics.
2005 – Crossbow AHRS are used as the guidance system in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, which sets a world record for fastest non-interrupted circumnavigation of the world. BP recognizes Crossbow with the Helios Award for its innovative work in delivering the first-ever installation of a WSN aboard a commercial tanker. Crossbow raises a final round of financing, which adds Cisco Systems and Paladin Ventures as new investors.
2006 – Crossbow achieves FAA certification for the AHRS510, which is standard OEM equipment on the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet (VLJ). That aircraft is the lowest fuel-consuming commercial jet aircraft ever made.
2007 – Honeywell selects Crossbow to jointly develop a revolutionary glass cockpit device, the KFD840, which is now sold as a Bendix-King device. Crossbow releases the Imote2.Builder Kit, the first-ever kit for developing a WSN application using Microsoft’s Visual Studio programming environment.
2008 – Crossbow releases the ēKo PRO line of environmental monitoring products, a revolutionary wireless platform whose first target is precision agriculture. That award-winning product becomes the number one WSN research platform for environmental monitoring.
2009 – Crossbow reaches an agreement to sell its Commercial Inertial Systems and WSN Product lines to MEMSIC, Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at $18 million. This enables the company to focus on its high-performance inertial products for defense and security, as well as launch a revolutionary line of M2M asset tracking products using the GSM/GPRS network that began stealth development in 2007.
2010 – The sale to MEMSIC closes. Stay tuned for the latest!