Free Deploys Movea's MotionIC™ In Next Generation Remote Controls

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 
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Movea’s SmartMotion™ Control Creates Opportunities to Entice Audiences and Increase ARPU

GRENOBLE, France — Free, the world’s leading IPTV service provider, has announced that it is deploying Movea’s MotionIC™ technologies in next generation remote controls that will come with the new Freebox set-top box (STB) launched in late December 2010 in France. The combination of motion control and gesture recognition provide a more immersive, intuitive user experience that puts users in the driver’s seat for new interactive IPTV services. With more than four million subscribers, Free has the largest subscriber base of any IPTV company in the world — nearly double that of its nearest rival, according to Frost and Sullivan’s July 2010 report, “Global IPTV Equipment Market and Provider Competition Analysis.”

“As a leader in the development and deployment of next generation IPTV services, we saw very early on that smart TVs need smart remotes,” explained Maxime Lombardini, CEO of ILIAD (the parent company of Free). “Traditional remote designs with button-based navigation quickly become limiting and insufficient as we move towards the richer and more complex entertainment experience that IPTV enables. Movea’s MotionIC technology makes this complex entertainment experience as simple and intuitive to navigate on a TV as it is on a computer. Motion opens up a whole new way of interacting with content, drives adoption of new value added services, such as games delivered through the STB, and will provide an enhanced customer experience that drives subscriber loyalty.”

According to a survey of 2,000 households conducted by Strategy Analytics, 13 percent of current pay TV subscribers surveyed say they are “somewhat” or “very” likely to cancel their current subscription in the next twelve months with no intention of moving to another provider. The driving force for this trend is that more and more consumers are accessing digital entertainment online by streaming high definition content to their Internet connected TV. Responding to this trend, Pay TV providers are attempting to reduce churn by developing new user interfaces that combine a wide range of Internet-based content along with their subscription services; providing easier access to varied content and creating new revenue streams.

“High-quality digital entertainment content is exploding online,” said Sam Guilaume, CEO of Movea. “In parallel, we also see a high growth in shipments of new Internet-enabled, connected TVs. These two trends will work together to change the way people access content and use remote controls. TV manufacturers and service providers are realizing that the remote control is more important than ever as a means to touch the customer. Movea’s MotionIC platform is being used to build next generation remotes, set-top boxes, and TVs which lead the market in user experience and ease-of-use. We’re excited to be at the forefront of this trend with a market leader like Free.”

Kevin Nolan, vice president of User Experience Practice at Strategy Analytics, said, “Motion intelligence is underpinning the revolution in next generation consumer electronics and wireless devices. Movea’s broad portfolio of IP and ability to supply solutions from software through chipsets right up to finished products gives them a leading position in the value chain and makes them an important supplier to consider for anyone wanting to add motion to their products to enhance the user experience.”

Movea’s MotionIC™ motion sensing technology, perfected over 20 years of selling its innovative Air Mouse™ products, enables remotes that detect hand movements and use motion to control the position of the pointer on screen. Much like the Wii phenomenon, this motion control enhances the user experience, making it more interactive, intuitive and fun. MotionIC ensures jitter-free, pixel accurate pointer control with smooth, fine-detailed movements. In addition, the MotionIC platform supports gesture recognition; such as a flick up to increase volume, a flick down to decrease volume, a flick to the right to change channel etc. These gestures can also be more sophisticated, enabling manufacturers to drastically reduce the number of buttons on the remote and making it possible, for example, to have a sign-on gesture for each member of the family which loads up a personalized set of favorite stations, settings, applications, etc.