By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Hong Kong - Broadband Network Systems (BNS), based here, has developed an IPTV system that melds conventional paper catalog ordering with a digital IPTV platform.
Called the BNS Touch, the IPTV technology uses a camera-based wand or pen called a "Wiz" that links wirelessly to a TV set-top box with some form of a broadband connection to instantly send ordering commands to the IPTV operator. Once the tip of the Wiz touches a code embedded in a product's picture from a catalog or magazine, the device transmits a command to a set-top box and on to the IPTV operator.
The simplicity of the system is expected to spark interest in IPTV ordering, especially for such accounts as home shopping channels, cable, telco and satellite service operators looking to sell on-demand offerings, and hotels looking to generate more in-room service orders, said Anke Gill, BNS, marketing VP.
The platform was designed to open new revenue streams and enhance customer loyalty for IPTV operators, Gill said.
BNS Touch and the Wiz are designed to enhance the service offerings of IPTV operators and hotel/multi-dwelling unit (MDU) owners who can apply the solution to many applications, including TV shopping, in-room dining, video-on-demand, karaoke and education.
The company is first targeting TV service providers and IPTV operators to implement the hardware and software package that makes up the BNS Touch system. BNS charges operators a fee for the hardware based on the number of cable subscribers, plus a licensing fee.
The company cited an eMarketer forecast showing that the number of global IPTV subscribers is predicted to increase 29-fold by 2010.
"I think one of the more interesting trends is on the application side in Asia-Pacific, where karaoke-on-demand is one of the most popular features," said Jeff Heynen, broadband and IPTV directing analyst at Infonetics Research.
The company is currently developing a PC-based application for the technology but expects that IPTV will be the major revenue generator for the system, Gill said.
BNS, which just launched the BNS Touch platform in Asia last month, is now soliciting customers from service providers, IPTV providers and publishers.
Eventually, Gill said, the company may look to partner with CE manufacturers to incorporate the technology into integrated Tru2Way TV sets and cable and satellite set-top devices.
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