Thomas Yuen, the former president of computer maker AST Research Inc., has created three new companies under his Atlantis holding company, which will shortly move its headquarters from Newport Beach to Santa Ana.
Yuen announced a few weeks ago that his NuReality subsidiary would market a video game product that boosts the sound capabilities of game systems using a patented sound technology originally developed by Hughes Aircraft.
The $79 Vivid 3D game component is expected to begin shipments in May and it will be followed by another system for multimedia computer users in the summer, Yuen said. The company may have as many as 20 employees by summer, though its manufacturing will be subcontracted.
His second subsidiary, MPC Group, is expected to open for business in a couple of weeks. The company will sell, via direct mail, a Taiwanese-made line of computer notebooks under MPC's label. It will employ about 25 people.
A third subsidiary, the Ryte Deal Group, will act as a sourcing company for computer-related firms. The company, to start with about five employees, will locate sources of computer components in the Far East and distribute them in the United States.
These businesses aren't high-profile, but Yuen said they will create a solid cash flow that he can use to invest in new technologies that catch his fancy.
"We need to get sales and marketing established," Yuen said. "R&D and manufacturing are available from subcontractors for now. With revenue comes more ambitious goals."
Yuen still has big stakes in SRS Labs in Newport Beach, which owns the sound-enhancement technology being marketed by NuReality, and in NuTek USA in Silicon Valley, which makes clones of Macintosh computers.
Yuen also considered investing $5 million in a card casino in Los Angeles County, but said he decided against it.