4 Leaders & Innovators

Tony Smith

Founder, President, and Creative Director of Naviciti LLC, a developer of unique digital mapping products. Naviciti has developed groundbreaking applications offering a virtual view of Detroit in years past, as well as a highly useful online map to downtown attractions. The companyís technology enables users to actively explore environments, following self-defined paths, looking from self-chosen perspectives. And it enables clients to build relationships with these users, and communicate directly to them Ė to teach, sell, persuade, or entertain. Smith grew up in Detroit, graduated from high school in Indianapolis, and moved back to Detroit in 1997 to do promotional work for various record labels and entertainment companies. He established Naviciti last year based on ideas he had about how new media could be used to promote entertainment.

WHERE BORN: "Detroit."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "I would definitely say Dennis Archer, just his ability to reach out and help people and his dedication to the city. And I would say my high school art and drawing teacher, Miss Stoner, who taught me how to draw properly -- Iíve been able to use that my entire life."

LAST BOOK READ: "Head Rush Ajax Programming by Brett McLaughlin."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Creative, ambitious, determined, fun, strategic."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "Essentially itís headed into the homes, the hands, and into the automobiles of virtually everybody in the world. Itís happening now with cell phones, telephones, TVs, and desktop applications. As time goes on, these things all kind of become one interface that someone can use to send and receive information. We feel like itís going to be a very big industry, and it IS going to be a very big industry."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "Thatís a tough one. I would say the PSP, just because as far as what it offers, it offers quite a bit. It really puts the power of a portable video player, an Internet surfing device, and an .mp3 player in to the hands of a 12-year-old kid and if youíre savvy enough, you can put your own applications on it and itís a game player."

FAVORITE PLACE: "Amsterdam. The people are really nice, and itís a good example of a big city where the quality of life is just fantastic."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Drawing or designing, playing chess for sure, playing foosball for sure, playing Risk, and programming."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Fresh hummus."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Itís my extensive entertainment and music industry experience. I also know sign language and I help people with interpreting from time to time."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As a person with a lifelong dedication to creating things, and who empowers people with information and entertainment."