Monday, August 22, 2011

Roku licenses Hillcrest's motion-sensing technology

From Fiercecable:

Hillcrest Labs said Friday it struck a deal with Roku to license its Freespace motion-sensing remote control technology to the over-the-top video provider.

Roku is using Hillcrest's FreeSpace Motion Engine software in the remote control that comes with its new line of Roku 2 set-tops. The company is selling the receivers at prices ranging from $59.99 to $99.99.

While Hillcrest has been pitching cable MSOs its Loop Remote, which allows subscribers to navigate live TV, video-on-demand and DVR content by aiming an on-screen cursor, the company has had more success licensing its technology to consumer electronics manufacturers. Its customers include Universal Electronics, LG Electronics, Logitech, Eastman Kodak and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Attributes of the Motion Sensing Remote: Freespace MotionEngine
Hillcrest Labs' patented Freespace technology is a complete solution for in-air pointing and motion control that can be added to a wide range of consumer devices including remote controls and game controllers for Smart TVs, streaming media players, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, PCs, and tablets. Specific technical attributes of the Freespace MotionEngine include:
  • Advanced Motion Processing: The motion sensing remote translates natural hand movements into precise onscreen actions, which allows users to easily select icons and control objects, small and large, on the TV screen.
  • Orientation Compensation: Regardless of the orientation of the motion sensing remote in space (e.g. pointing at the ground, turned sideways, etc.), Freespace technology generates intuitive cursor movements and other on-screen actions. MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) sensors combined with Hillcrest's proprietary software enable consistent control of the device from any position -- standing, sitting or reclining.
  • High Precision: Freespace technology can distinguish between intentional and unintentional movement, including natural hand tremors. This means the motion sensing remote's cursor does not shake or jiggle on screen like other motion-based controllers. The Freespace-enabled remote allows for single pixel precision with low latency to ensure the highest precision.
  • No Line-of-Sight Required: Freespace technology is based on inertial sensors which do not require line-of-sight to operate. This allows for a more relaxed usage model when compared to conventional infrared devices and motion-sensing devices that use cameras or optical sensors that require "line-of-sight" to operate. The combination of Bluetooth and Freespace technology gives users greater freedom to move around the house and comfortably use the remote control from any position.

Freespace technology is also the same technology used in Hillcrest's award-winning Loop pointer -- an in-air mouse designed for consumers who connect their computers to a television.

For more:
- see news release from Hillcrest

Related articles:
Report: Hulu blocks Hillcrest's Web browser
Hillcrest's Kylo browser brings Web content to TVs

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