By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
WESTBOROUGH, MASS. — Arch Wireless, a leading wireless messaging and mobile information company, signed a long-term agreement with Gemstar-TV Guide International to enable wireless transmission of Gemstar's Guide Plus IPG data, advertising and promotional offers to TV sets and information appliances.
Gemstar called the agreement "another key component in the development path for interactive TV" being developed by Gemstar-TV Guide.
Gemstar plans to equip television sets with Guide Plus and Arch's ReFLEX technology-based transceivers to let users receive and send information.
As an example of the capability of the system, Arch said, "when an advertisement for a particular product is displayed, viewers would have access to a menu item in the corner of their TV screen that would allow them to order the product, pay for it and have it delivered."
Advantra International, a Belgium-based wireless device manufacturer and subsidiary of Punch International, will manufacture the ReFLEX transceivers, Arch said. The service is expected to be available in 2002.
The Guide Plus system provides onscreen program listings and descriptions for broadcast and cable channels, along with a system that allows viewers to tune to a selected program from the grid. Thomson Consumer Electronics, Philips, Zenith and others currently license the technology.
The 10-year contract between Arch and Index Systems Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gemstar, includes the sale of airtime over Arch's ReFLEX wireless messaging network and other considerations. Arch's two-way network, which provides coverage to more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, has greater spectrum capacity than most other wireless dedicated data networks, the company said.
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