Hillcrest Labs Turns Kylo® Web Browser for TV Over to Open Source Community

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
Hillcrest Labs logo

Enables Developers to Innovate and Create New TV Browsers and Applications; Works Seamlessly with Freespace® Devices for Better TV Browsing Experiences

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Hillcrest Labs today announced that it has released the source code for the award-winning Kylo® Web browser to the open source community for the first time. Kylo is a free, Mozilla-based TV browser uniquely designed to view online content on TVs connected to the Internet. When used with a Freespace® pointer, like Hillcrest’s award-winning Scoop™, Kylo makes it easy to surf the Web, watch online video and play casual point-and-click Internet games, whether in the living room, family room, bedroom or dorm room. It is compatible with the Mac OS® and Windows®.

Hillcrest will provide the Kylo source code under the Mozilla Public License (MPL) 2.0 to enable developers to create new and different versions that extend its features and enables new uses. As such, developers can copy, modify and redistribute the Kylo platform and source code without a separate commercial license, and without paying royalties or fees. Hillcrest will remain active in the future development and support of the Kylo browser for TV. The open source version of Kylo is available for free via download at GitHub and www.kylo.tv.

“Releasing Kylo to the open source community is a natural progression for the TV browser,” said Steve Scheirey, vice president of TV software and services at Hillcrest Labs. “Kylo has always been a distinct initiative apart from our core Freespace business. By releasing Kylo’s source code, we expect to see new innovations and product enhancements from a much broader development community.”

The Kylo Web browser was specifically developed for browsing and viewing the Web on a TV screen using a Freespace or other pointing device. Primary applications include dedicated home theatre PCs (HTPCs), laptops and ultrabooks with HDMI connectivity, and digital media players using Windows or Mac operating systems. Kylo is not meant to replace traditional browsers such as Internet Explorer®, Safari® or Firefox® for “2-foot use” on standard computer display screens. Unlike other applications or websites, Kylo does not offer a “walled garden” of aggregated video content. Instead, it is a fully featured Web browser that lets users browse the open Internet. Compared to conventional browsers, the Kylo browser provides more onscreen viewing space with less visual clutter; larger fonts and buttons for easy navigation from across the room; an easy-to-use onscreen keyboard; and zoom-and-pan capability for enhanced viewing.

The Kylo Web browser for TV works with any mouse, but is ideal for use with a Freespace-enabled in-air pointing and motion control device. Hillcrest licenses its Freespace motion software and IP under separate commercial terms. Companies that have licensed Hillcrest’s Freespace technology for use in their products include: LG Electronics, Logitech, Roku, SMK Electronics, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Universal Electronics (UEI), Eastman Kodak and others. Announced earlier this year, the new WarpiaTV browser is powered by Kylo, and features a Freespace-enabled wireless motion controller. A custom OEM version of Kylo is also featured in ASUS’ Xtion media center for PCs. Hillcrest’s remote control OEM partners, including UEI and SMK Electronics, are licensed to produce Freespace remote controls, which are ideal for use with Kylo.