LAS VEGAS -- Dragging his finger around in circles on a demo vehicle display screen, Rightware COO Tero Koivu creates a tornado of lizard-green light pixels that swirls as he explains his business. A moment later, a purple Lamborghini appears on the screen in stunning video game-like clarity.
"We're not designing the vehicle displays of the future," Koivu said. "That's the automaker's job. We're providing the tools to let the automaker create their designs faster."
Visitors to this week's CES show here could be forgiven for blurring the identities of the high-definition TV screen producers, makers of colorful cameras and Internet communications devices and car parts manufacturers all crowded together cheek-by-jowl in and around the Las Vegas Convention Center. For the large number of auto suppliers participating in the show, associating themselves with new-era consumer electronics is exactly why they're there.
Rightware, a company from Helsinki with roots in the cellphone and video game industries, loosely calls itself a software company. But Koivu closes one eye and cocks his head to suggest that it's more complicated than that.
"We develop tools," he said. The company's boilerplate description for itself reads: "Rightware provides tools and services for development of advanced digital user interfaces to more than 40 auto brands."