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Hisense Adds Hillcrest Motion Control to TVs

Motion technology is big news in television user interfaces these days, and Hisense, the fifth largest TV manufacturer in the world, is jumping on the motion control bandwagon through a partnership with Hillcrest Labs.

Hillcrest Labs announced Wednesday that Hisense is now licensing its Freespace MotionEngine software to bring point-and-click gestures to Hisense smart TVs and set-top boxes. The Freespace technology allows users to "navigate their TV user interface just like they do on computers, smartphones, and tablets."

Hillcrest has staked out its claim in the consumer electronics world through partnerships with LG Electronics Inc., TCL Corp., and Roku Inc., among others.

After years of trying to promote its television operating system to the cable world, the motion-control vendor moved firmly into the motion technology space when it introduced the Loop TV remote control in 2009. Although the Loop TV has enjoyed limited success on its own, Hillcrest has used its eye-catching design to draw attention to the Freespace technology.

Recently, Hillcrest also marked its intention to return to the cable industry with news that it has secured a license for the Comcast Corp. Reference Design Kit. By working with the software bundle, Hillcrest could theoretically embed its motion technology into future set-tops developed specifically for the cable industry. (See Hillcrest Snags Comcast RDK License.)

Meanwhile, Hillcrest continues to pursue CE customers, with Hisense the latest evidence of success in that market.

— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

albreznick 9/4/2013 | 5:11:05 PM
Motion Control A Fad? Hillcrest is clearly on a roll here with its new technology. And motion control does seem to be all the rage these days. But do people really want to use their bodies to control their TVs or just slump on their couches? Will motion control just turn out to be the latest fad that dies away in another couple of years? Or is Hillcrest riding a wave that will take it ever higher? As usual, we look forward to your thoughtys and opinions here.    
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