Campbell, Calif. - Technology company
expects first-quarter availability of the first rights-protected movies sold on MicroSD cards for playback on Android smartphones and Android tablets.
The company expects the cards' prices to compete with DVD prices.
The cards would use rights-protection technology developed by the company and already used to sell about 25 movies worldwide on USB drives, including USB movies sold in the U.S. through Fry's Electronics and OfficeMax, the company said.
The movies will make their way to the Android OS now that the company has developed the Mo-DV Universal Player app to play movies on Android smartphones, whose popularity has surged, the company said. The app works on Android phones using the 2.1 and later OS.
Work is also underway to bring the Mo-DV Universal Player app to BlackBerry v. 5.0 and later smartphones, Windows Phone 7 smartphones, and feature phones that support Java- and BREW-based applications, the company said.
A Mo-DV Universal Player app already available for PCs to play the USB-stored movies will also play the MicroSD-stored movies, the company said. The PC app is compatible with desktops and laptops running Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7.
Movies offered on the cards will be playable on any platform for which a Mo-DV app may become available, including tablets and other cellphones, the company added.
Because Mo-DV's technology "allows the playback of protected content across multiple platforms, it eliminates the need to create separate SKUs for each platform," the company noted.
A Mo-DV Universal Player app has been available for earlier smartphones based on the Windows Mobile 5 and 6 operating systems cellphones based on the Symbian S60 OS, but sales of those products in the U.S. have been limited. The past opportunities for movies on MicroSD, added chief technology officer Eric Hamilton, "have had limited market receptivity," but market receptivity "has accelerated with movies being included in iTunes for Apple devices." As a result, he said, "the landscape for adoption of movies on other mobile devices is improving."
The company's technology can be used in any type of flash-memory format, the company said.
Although new smartphones have appeared with the ability to download movies on demand via Wi-Fi, Hamilton said, movies stored on smartphone-compatible cards would deliver a superior experience. Downloading via Wi-Fi or cellular "would take a lot of time if you want high quality," he said. Movies stored on flash memory using Mo-DV technology will deliver higher resolution, he said.
Although it is possible to stream movies over Wi-Fi or cellular, streaming creates quality-of-service problems such as frame freezes and takes up so much bandwidth that streamed files must use low resolution, he noted.
Although Mo-DV's technology locks a movie to a USB drive or memory card, it enables users to output the movie to a connected TV for viewing on a larger screen, the company said.