Remember when a television was just the large box that showed pictures?!? Television technology has seemed to change quickly and drastically in the past few years. My kids saw an old standard tube television and laughed at it recently. They could not believe that not long before they were born, we had one ourselves. Hillcrest Labs is pushing this technology yet another step by announcing new motion controlled televisions. Two products have been released today at CES so I will include both press releases.
LAS VEGAS, NV and ROCKVILLE, MD — January 5, 2011 — Hillcrest Labs, a leader in motion-control technology and interactive television applications, today announced a new low cost, embedded motion-control system for TV manufacturers. The new turnkey solution is designed to support new motion pointing and gesture-enabled user interfaces for navigating the Web, Internet-based applications, and games on televisions. It will be showcased at the International CES show, January 6-10, 2011, in Las Vegas, NV, in the Broadcom Meeting Room, Hillcrest Labs suite at the Renaissance Hotel, and the Universal Electronics (UEI) booth on the CES show floor.
Specifically, the Company announced that Hillcrest’s patented Freespace(R) MotionEngine is now integrated with Broadcom’s new BCM35230 digital TV system-on-a-chip (SoC) and Broadcom’s new BCM20730 single-chip Bluetooth(R) solution, enabling a turn-key, cost-effective, and fully-featured motion control solution for connected televisions. In addition at CES, Universal Electronics, the world’s leading manufacturer of TV remotes, will showcase a new Freespace and Bluetooth-enabled TV remote control, utilizing the world’s first single-chip, digital-output, 3-axis MEMS gyroscope from InvenSense, that is compatible with the new system from Broadcom and Hillcrest. The demonstrations will include a TV user interface optimized for motion pointing, which includes Hillcrest’s HoMEcast(TM) video application and a Webkit browser engine.
“As the demand for Internet-based content on TV continues to rise, manufacturers are seeking differentiated, turn-key, and economical solutions that enable immersive and intuitive user experiences for consumers,” said Chad Lucien, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Hillcrest Labs. “We are proud to have collaborated with Broadcom and the market leaders in remote controls and MEMS devices to create a turnkey solution that enables TV manufactures to quickly add Freespace motion control, pointing applications, and Bluetooth to connected televisions.”
“Broadcom is at the forefront of producing very low power chipsets that will enable a growing portfolio of innovative remote control devices for Internet-connected TVs and home entertainment devices,” said Craig Ochikubo, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Wireless Personal Area Networking line of business. “We are very pleased to have worked with Hillcrest Labs to incorporate their pioneering Freespace technology into our new class of Bluetooth and digital TV chipsets.”
Unlike alternative motion control technologies, both the new chipset and compatible TV remotes use fully-integrated motion sensors that do not require additional external cameras or lightbars in order to control the onscreen viewing experience. In addition, the low cost Bluetooth-based solution does not require line-of-site, which enables consumers to control their TVs without the need to aim at the TV. The new system is compatible with a variety of smart TV platforms including Linux, Android or Google TV-based solutions.
Broadcom is a leader in applying Bluetooth wireless technologies to an increasingly diverse range of consumer electronics and media devices. As a leading supplier of integrated solutions for digital TV, set-top box, Blu-ray disc players and other technologies, Broadcom is able to help drive the proliferation of Bluetooth based gestural and other advanced remote controls. Bluetooth is particularly well suited for the applications because they increasingly require higher data bandwidth than are available from other nascent radio technologies also targeting these devices.
For the past two consecutive years, Hillcrest Labs was named an International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards Honoree. For 2011, Hillcrest was selected for Kylo(TM), its free Web browser for television, and in 2010, the company was selected for its Loop(TM) pointer, an in air mouse designed for consumers who connect their computers to a television. Companies that have licensed Freespace for use in their products include: Eastman Kodak, LG Electronics, Logitech, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Universal Electronics (UEI), and others.
LAS VEGAS, NV; ROCKVILLE, MD; and TOKYO, JAPAN – January 5, 2011 — Hillcrest Labs, a leader in motion control technology and interactive television applications, and SMK Electronics, a leading global manufacturer of remote controls and CE accessories, today announced that the companies have signed a licensing agreement for Hillcrest’s Freespace(R) technology. The agreement provides SMK with access to Hillcrest’s patented in-air pointing, motion control technology for use in its current and future products.
SMK has incorporated Hillcrest Labs’ Freespace motion technology into innovative remote control designs, including SMK’s unique Egg Shaped RF remote control, currently being used in Japan to demonstrate Freespace motion technology to a variety of consumer electronics customers. SMK provides manufacturers of TV, set-top box, PC, Blu-ray, and digital media player with the ability to quickly and cost-effectively add Freespace motion technology to new products. The new SMK remotes will be showcased at the International CES show, January 6-10, 2011, in Las Vegas, NV, in booth #20662 in South Hall #1 and in Hillcrest suite #539 at the Renaissance Hotel. In addition, SMK will demonstrate PC-connected TVs using Hillcrest Labs’ Kylo(TM) browser — a free Internet browser designed for use in the living room.
“SMK is a market-leading remote control solutions provider and a trusted partner for many consumer electronics companies worldwide,” said Chad Lucien, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Hillcrest Labs. “We are very proud that SMK has licensed our Freespace technology and look forward to working with them to distribute innovative new remote controls using our Freespace motion technology.”
“Hillcrest Labs developed an incredibly advanced motion control technology that can be embedded easily and cost-effectively into next-generation CE products,” said Paul Evans, president, SMK Electronics Corporation. “We are excited to offer Freespace technology to our customers and incorporate it into innovative new remote controls.”
Freespace technology was developed by Hillcrest Labs for use in a wide range of consumer devices including TV remote controls, computer peripherals, and game controllers. Freespace-enabled pointing devices utilize patented digital signal processing algorithms that rely on gravity and other inertial inputs to determine their position in the air. The algorithms translate motion instantaneously, automatically adjust for natural hand tremors, and work regardless of directional orientation. Unlike alternative touch pointing solutions, Freespace users can quickly and easily navigate through large content libraries and play either point-and-click casual games or motion-based games. Freespace is the same award-winning technology used in LG Electronics’ Magic Motion remote control and Hillcrest’s iconic Loop(TM) pointer — an in-air mouse designed for consumers who connect their computers to a television.
For the past two consecutive years, Hillcrest Labs was named an International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards Honoree. For 2011, Hillcrest was selected for Kylo, its free Web browser for television, and in 2010, the company was selected for its Loop pointer. In addition to SMK, other companies that have licensed Freespace for use in their products include: Eastman Kodak, LG Electronics, Logitech, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., Universal Electronics (UEI), and others. Hillcrest Labs’ solutions are backed by a broad set of intellectual property including more than 40 issued patents, out of more than 200 filed by the company.
Terms of the Freespace licensing agreement were not disclosed. Additional details about Freespace or Hillcrest Labs are available at www.smk.co.jp.. Additional information about SMK Electronics is available at