Orb Opens Architecture, Licenses Technology to CE Manufacturers

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Orb Opens Architecture, Licenses Technology to CE Manufacturers; Share and Distribute Content Between Disparate Devices and the Internet

EMERYVILLE, CALIF — Orb Networks, creator of the Orb MyCasting service that allows users to enjoy anything from their PCs on virtually any other internet connected device, has announced a licensing program that will allow manufacturers and service providers to aggregate content from virtually anywhere – connected devices, online and broadband services powered by the internet, and wireless networks. Three partners have already ported the Orb solution to their platform.

Orb’s Embedded Solutions (“OeS”) provides a framework to expose, connect, and abstract device capabilities; manage digital assets; make incompatible devices work together; and connect them with online services on multiple screens in an IP world. Orb’s embedded software can tie together digital devices including routers, set-top-boxes, DMAs, smart-TVs, digital photo frames, networked storage devices (NAS), and of course, PCs. Orb expects a new wave of innovation in media consumption as devices can now be linked in a network and integrated with online services, and since OeS is device-independent, a PC is not required.

“The Orb architecture was from the beginning completely modular and dynamic,” said Herve Utheza, VP and GM at Orb. “OeS abstracts the capabilities of each application, service, and computing device thereby leveraging the best of peer-to-peer and client / server architectures, and allowing total flexibility in the design of the network, application, and media service. Furthermore, the Orb platform extends the home network to mobile, bringing together all the screens consumers care about, with minimal set-up and networking configuration chores for the user.”

Orb’s OeS allows the building of content virtualization and other media-centric applications that drive and connect together disparate hardware devices, as well as supporting exciting new use cases such as:

  • turning today’s consumer electronics devices into tomorrow’s media servers, manipulating media both inside the home and out
  • creating single media catalogs from both local and broadband delivered assets making it easy to simplify services for the consumer
  • decoupling devices’ user interfaces from the device itself, making it easy to access and play any media on any screen
  • building intelligent and flexible home monitoring solutions for the broadband home, which the user can control anywhere, anytime, from other devices or broadband widgets
  • extending the power and reach of standards such as DLNA and x10 to legacy devices, or devices which do not natively support these standards, as soon as they are IP connected
  • enabling new online applications and services capable of reaching out and managing hardware devices

“CE manufacturers can now build differentiated product families which leverage each other’s capabilities while preserving interoperability with industry offerings – bringing the best of open, standards-based solution such as DLNA, while building value-added differentiation enabled by Orb,” Utheza said.

The first partners to showcase OeS ported to their devices or integrated with their solutions are:

  • Buffalo, Inc, which has ported the Orb OeS to its Network Attached Storage platform
  • Oregan Networks, with its embedded browser and middleware solution for IPTV and embedded devices
  • ViXS Systems, which brings hardware-based transcoding to the connected CE ecosystem.