Hillcrest Labs Brings Motion Control to Intel Set-Top Box Reference Kit

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
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Hillcrest’s Freespace® software integrated into Intel® Media Server Reference Design (MSRD) for Point-and-Click Control for TV

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Hillcrest Labs today announced that Intel’s newest reference design kit for IPTV set-top boxes (STBs) and media servers will use Hillcrest’s patented Freespace® in-air pointing and motion control technology. With the Freespace Motion Engine™ software embedded on the Intel® Media Server Reference Design (MSRD) kit and controlled by a handheld remote control, TV operators can provide subscribers the ability to control TV with mouse-like navigation, and point-and-click simplicity.

“Computers and smartphones have used motion-based, point-and-click interfaces for years because they are the most efficient way to navigate large volumes of content,” said Chad Lucien , senior vice president of sales and marketing at Hillcrest Labs. “Intel has seized onto this idea for TV, and is now driving innovation for serving TV service providers. We’re extremely proud that Intel has selected the Freespace MotionEngine for use in its new set-top box reference kits.”

“Hillcrest is a leader in motion-based TV software and products,” said Ran Senderovitz, general manager, Service Provider Division Marketing at Intel Corporation. “Operators are seeking better and innovative ways to help consumers find and navigate shows and applications. With Freespace, we’re creating an out-of-the box, motion-ready reference solution for operators and OEMs globally.”

Intel MSRD

Intel’s new MSRD is a design kit for OEMs and system integrators that allows them to quickly develop Intel-based set-top boxes and media servers and is based on the Intel® Atom™ processor CE5300. This dual core Atom-based SOC supports hyperthreading, virtualization, an advanced 3D/2D graphics engine, integrated power management, and a H.264 B-picture hardware encoder. Intel has pre-integrated components such as a media engine, broadcast stacks, virtualization, and motion control technology to reduce validation testing for OEMs and to accelerate time to market. The MSRD will be available in April 2013 from Intel and through its distribution partner Videon Central. The MSRD is being showcased at TV Connect 2013 in London at Intel’s booth number 39.

Freespace Attributes

Hillcrest’s Freespace MotionEngine software can be added to a wide range of CE devices, including: set-top boxes, Smart TVs, remote controls, game controllers, mobile handsets, PC peripherals, and more. Hillcrest’s Freespace software is currently used across dozens of Smart TVs models from LG and TCL, and Roku streaming players. Other companies that have licensed Freespace for use in their products include: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Universal Electronics (UEI), SMK Electronics, Atmel, Logitech, and more. Hillcrest has a worldwide intellectual property portfolio that includes over 80 granted and 200 filed patents. Unique attributes of Freespace include:

  • High Resolution Pointer Accuracy: Freespace enables a highly precise pointing remote control which allows users to select icons and images, small and large, on a high-resolution screen easily.
  • Advanced Motion Controls: Intuitive motion controls enable high-performance motion gaming and replicate the swipes, gestures, and drag-and drop functions which have made devices such as smartphones and tablets easy to use.
  • Orientation Compensation: Regardless of the orientation of the remote in space (e.g. pointing at the ground, turned sideways, etc.), Freespace technology generates intuitive cursor motions on the screen from any position– standing, sitting or reclining.
  • Intelligent Motion Stabilization: Hillcrest’s technology can distinguish between intentional and unintentional movement, including natural hand tremors and button clicks. This means the remote control accurately and immediately responds to the end user’s actions.
  • No Line-of-Sight: Unlike conventional infrared devices and optical motion-sensing devices, Freespace remotes uses RF (radio frequency) technology and inertial motion sensors, so users do not need to point directly at the computer or TV screen. This gives users greater freedom to move around the living room.