[HAIFA, Israel] – One of the limitations of the growing Internet universe is the rapidly dwindling supply of domain names available.
Businesses complain that most of the meaningful and desirable Web addresses have already been claimed.
LocallyNet, a Haifa-based startup from Panta Rhei Knowledge Systems Ltd group, hopes to change that.
The company’s concept is the virtual domain name (VDN). Using a text-conversion algorithm, the program creates a new level of domain names on top of the existing level. Use of a VDN allows site owners to employ gibberish “real” domain names, which the program renders meaningful.
Imagine you want to use the address www.flowers.com for your business. Since the address is already taken, you could instead reserve www.srewolf.com. (Srewolf is flowers backwards.)
Surfers seeking your site on VDN-enabled browsers could type www.flowers.com, and tell the browser to read the letters backwards. The browser would deliver them to your site.
The text-conversion program also allows non-English users to type in their native language. Bilingual keyboards allot two letters per key, an English letter and a foreign letter.
LocallyNet allows the user to type a VDN address in his native language, which is then converted to its parallel English letters.
In addition, LocallyNet enables the use of new domain suffixes. The standard “.com” can be replaced by custom suffixes such as .b2b and .news, and allows the usage of restricted characters such as “,”.
LocallyNet co-founder Yoav Raiter said the company’s product is more practical than other domain name solutions, with a broader long-term perspective.
“Most companies are trying to build new name monopolies,” he stated. “We provide the tools to create new names.”
He added that his algorithm-based solution works faster than those of competitors.
“Other companies have server solutions; we are the only browser solution,” he said.
Currently, LocallyNet’s top priority is establishing strategic partnerships with the major Internet browsers. The company intends to focus on Europe and Asia, especially China, as its initial markets.
But short of a major joint venture, Raiter admits the company’s future is uncertain.
“We have to go to big ones,” he said.
In Israel, LocallyNet has sold 500 units to date.