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Intel STB To Use Hillcrest Freespace Tech

Rockville, Md. — Hillcrest Labs’ Freespace in-air pointing and motion-control technology is being used for Intel’s new reference design kit for IPTV set-top boxes and media servers, the companies said Tuesday. 3/18/2013 08:05:00 PM Eastern

Rockville, Md. — Hillcrest Labs’ Freespace in-air pointing and motion-control technology is being used for Intel’s new reference design kit for IPTV set-top boxes and media servers, the companies said Tuesday.

Hillcrest’s Freespace Motion Engine software embedded in the Intel Media Server Reference Design (MSRD) kit will enable TV operators to offer mouse-like point-and-click navigation control of TV programming.

The MSRD is Intel’s design kit for OEMs and system integrators that allows them to develop Intel-based set-top boxes and media servers and is based on the Intel Atom processor CE5300. 

The dual core Atom-based SOC supports hyperthreading, virtualization, an advanced 3D/2D graphics engine, integrated power management and an H.264 B-picture hardware encoder.

Intel has pre-integrated components such as a media engine, broadcast stacks, virtualization, and motion-control technology to reduce validation testing for OEMs and to accelerate time to market.

The MSRD will be available in April 2013 from Intel and through its distribution partner Videon Central. The MSRD is being showcased at TV Connect 2013 in London at Intel’s booth, No. 39.

“Computers and smartphones have used motion-based, point-and-click interfaces for years because they are the most efficient way to navigate large volumes of content,” said Chad Lucien, Hillcrest Labs’ sales and marketing senior VP.  “Intel has seized onto this idea for TV, and is now driving innovation for serving TV service providers. We’re extremely proud that Intel has selected the Freespace MotionEngine for use in its new set-top box reference kits.” 

“Hillcrest is a leader in motion-based TV software and products,” said Ran Senderovitz, Intel service provider division marketing general manager. “Operators are seeking better and innovative ways to help consumers find and navigate shows and applications. With Freespace, we’re creating an out-of-the box, motion-ready reference solution for operators and OEMs globally.”

Hillcrest’s Freespace MotionEngine software can be added to a wide range of CE devices, including set-top boxes, smart TVs, remote controls, game controllers, mobile handsets, PC peripherals and other devices.

Freespace software is currently used in dozens of smart-TV models from LG and TCL, and in Roku streaming players.

Sony Computer Entertainment, Universal Electronics, SMK Electronics, Atmel, Logitech and others have also licensed the technology.

The technology is said to provide high-resolution pointer accuracy; advanced motion controls for gaming, swipes, gestures and drag-and drop functions; orientation compensation that generates intuitive cursor motions on the screen from any position; intelligent motion-stabilization technology that distinguish between intentional and unintentional movement; and no line-of-sight limitation through the use of RF technology.