By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Principle Solutions (PSI), the creator of TVGuardian foul-language blocking technology, is seeking strategic and financial partners to take its business to the next level.
The company, which is privately held, plans to use the money raised to market services under its new business model, which is working with consumer electronics manufacturers to embed TVGuardian technology and other features
The company said it now has deals with 10 consumer electronics manufacturers to add its TVGuardian foul-language blocking system to DVD players, digital video recorders and other devices in 2006. Partner manufacturers include Audiovox, CyberHome, Daewoo, Disney, Emerson, Funai, Insignia, Magnavox, Memorex, Polariod, RCA and TruTech, among others.
PSI said products incorporating TVGuardian-embedded technology will be available shortly at all major retailers, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart, both of which are "planning specific promotions," PSI said.
The company originally launched its TVGuardian technology as an after-market set-top box that could be connected between a TV set and cable or satellite box, VCR or DVD player, to intercept and block objectionable words from the audio portion of television programs. The system uses closed captioning data to find and automatically drop audio on offensive words.
PSI said it is now launching "a new customer-driven business model" requiring strategic and financial partners to further maximize its opportunities.
Most consumers accessing the TVGuardian feature will do so through a new program called "iActivate," which PSI will make available for a one-time $19.95 activation fee. The company said it will make available a "profit sharing" arrangement with manufacturers as well as retailers who sign up customers for the iActivate service at the point of sale.
Under the iActivate business model, consumers may add software features to their TVs or DVD players, in a method described as being similar the way users add new programs to their computers. In addition, new features are being developed to expand the capabilities of the iActivate system, PSI said.
"iActivate is changing the way the industry looks at the feature market," says PSI president Mike Seals. "The end result will be more features being made available to consumers in a truly efficient, market-driven way."
PSI said it is also introducing the CustomPlay objectionable content application into DVD players this year after having recently signed a long term agreement with Nissim/CustomPlay of Boca Raton, Fla. The feature will use filters for select DVD titles to seamlessly edit out images of nudity, sexuality and/or violence.
"We are projecting our technologies to be included in 10 million devices sold this year and at least twice as many in 2007," said Seals. "Viewers are finally being given more control over the features they have and the language they hear."
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.