Wildcard Innovations was founded in 1996 and designs and manufactures electronic consumer products.
Its co-founders and directors, Gary Kopff & Mai Tran, have between them over 68 years continuous industry experience in design, management and sales of embedded electronic consumer appliances.
Wildcard's primary focus is the development of consumer products but it also offers engineering consulting services. Some of Wildcard's prestigious customers include Telstra Research Laboratories, Lucent / JNA and the Anglo Australian Observatory.
In April 2001, Wildcard announced the introduction of the Argo Navis™ telescope computer. Argo Navis™ provides an observer the ability to accurately point their telescope to any co-ordinate in the sky and to locate or identify celestial objects from a detailed database of tens of thousands of objects. Identification of objects occurs in real-time as the user moves the scope. Argo Navis™ utilises a 32-bit Motorola ColdFire™ CPU to achieve this level of performance.
Wildcard's engineers were amongst the pioneers of ASIC design, having designed their first gate array in 1987. They have the experience, skill, rigour and diligence to produce highly complex, "right-first-time" devices.
Having worked with microprocessors since their introduction in the mid-1970's, Wildcard's engineers have created embedded system architectures using every generation of MPU. From 8 to 32-bit, both CISC and RISC, from just about every conceivable manufacturer.
Understanding customer requirements, working along side them, and delivering product on time, is what an OEM relationship is all about. Wildcard's engineers have been doing just that for their entire professional careers, helping other companies deliver OEM solutions to organizations that have included Fuji-Xerox, Toshiba, Dataproducts and Siemens.
Today's handheld devices require considerable skill and experience in the design and manufacture of dense and complex SMT assemblies. Wildcard has extensive design experience in this area and an extensive background of working with suppliers and board-level assemblers to ensure that products are manufactured to meet the highest quality standards.
Management is the key to engineering success. Wildcard's Managing Director, Gary Kopff, has 30 years experience in the recruitment, management and leadership of teams of engineers whose goal was to produce products on time and on budget. Wildcard believes in a hands-on engineering approach which allows creative designers the freedom and flexibility to excel. Wildcard's management style is based on building and earning mutual trust and promoting enthusiasm; individuals are encouraged to explore what they are capable of achieving.
Wildcard is expert in the design of firmware and software. Wildcard's engineers have been using and working with UNIX™ continuously as far back as 1977 and selected Linux™ as their development platform of choice in 1996 when the company was founded. They have had an enormous amount of experience in the design of firmware and software in many areas including astronomy, imaging, networking protocols, telephony, embedded real-time and non-embedded operating systems, device drivers, computer graphics and applications code.
Wildcard's engineers have extensive experience in the design of hardware and firmware for laser printers and photocopiers.
In March 2003, the Astronomical Society of New South Wales bestowed their most prestigious award to Wildcard's Gary Kopff and Mai Tran when they presented them with the McNiven Medal for 'Contributions to Amateur Astronomy'.
Further enhancements to Argo Navis™ are amongst the company's current major technical activities. In May 2005, Wildcard announced the release of Argo Navis in a new-style enclosure. On Dec 30th 2014, Wildcard announced Argo Navis™ Version 3.0.0 Firmware which includes many new features, such as support for multiple setups, catalog additions such as the Moon, reporting of lunar phases, horizon filtering and below horizon indications and the newest version of the ServoCAT/Argo Navis protocol which was co-developed with StellarCAT and includes SmartTrack.