Courtesy screenshot from Vysk's promotional video.
Courtesy screenshot from Vysk's promotional video.

More tech jobs are coming to the urban core.

VYSK, a San Antonio cybersecurity startup that makes and markets a cellphone case that encrypts voice and data and protects latest generation smart phones from hackers and spies, celebrates its official office opening on the San Antonio River’s Museum Reach on Thursday. For a company whose mission is to sell privacy, Thursday morning’s event is attracting a lot of fanfare, with various elected officials expected to be on hand for the opening.

“I’m pleased San Antonio continues to attract high-paying jobs in 21st century industries,” Mayor Julián Castro said in an email. “Vysk’s innovative products and future plans for manufacturing add momentum to San Antonio’s diverse and growing economy.”

VYSK has titled the media event, “Future of Privacy and Technology in San Antonio” and a press release promises live demonstrations of its product and discussion of its “vision of privacy.”

The cellphone security company is expected to assemble a staff of 70 people in its new offices, making it the second significant wave of hi tech jobs coming to Midtown. Peer 1, a cloud hosting service, is bringing about 100 jobs to its new location at the Pearl in the space previously occupied by Aveda. The Peer 1 grand opening was held April 4.

[Read more: Peer 1 Puts Down Roots in San Antonio’s Pearl Brewery.]

VYSK company officials want to manufacture its QS1 product in San Antonio, according to one source, which would generate an estimated 200 jobs, and are said to be seeking incentives from local government entities in return.

VYSK’s administrative headquarters is located in the newly-constructed Phipps Building at 102 9th St. The tech startup’s product, which has yet to hit the market and will be sold via pre-orders starting May 15, already has attracted attention in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the tech press.

The Phipps Office on the San Antonio River Walk at 102 9th St. Photo courtesy of Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects, Inc.
The Phipps Building on the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River Walk at 102 9th St. Photo courtesy of Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects, Inc.

The company’s QS1 cellphone case offers protection against hackers and Big Brother. If the device does what the company promises, your calls, emails, texts and web searches will be safe from the prying eyes of intelligence agencies that scoop up metadata. The QS1 internally locks a smart phone’s microphone and camera to prevent hackers from remotely taking control of your device without your knowledge. The cover also extends battery life, offers protection against accidents, and because we live in a world where form sometimes triumphs function, will be available in a variety of colors.

There is a video on the VYSK website that offers a dramatic presentation of the QS1 product in a world where privacy seems more of a delusion than reality. Click here to watch the video.

Courtesy screenshot from Vysk's promotional video.
Courtesy screenshot from VYSK’s promotional video.

Pre-orders for the QS1, priced at $229, start May 5 for expected product delivery in the 4Q 2014. Users who pay a $10 monthly subscription fee  will be able to talk securely with other VYSK subscribers, accessing the company’s proprietary processor and encryption service over a VoIP connection. The company will not collect data on such calls that could be accessed by government. A VYSK app will provide users with other protections for voice mail, texting, and photo sharing.

Is VYSK hiring, you ask? Good question. We should know a lot more about VYSK after Thursday’s official opening.

*Featured/top image: Courtesy screenshot from VYSK’s promotional video. 

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Robert Rivard

Robert Rivard is co-founder and columnist at the San Antonio Report.