If cable operators intend to enamor consumers the way they are with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) or Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad, Dan Simpkins says MSOs will have to rid themselves of legacy digital set-tops like Motorola Mobility LLC 's DCT-2000, and replace them with boxes outfitted with faster processors that can run advanced applications. Simpkins is the founder of Hillcrest Labs , which developed the motion-sensing technology used in Nintendo of America Inc. 's Wii and in new remote controls from Universal Electronics Inc. and other consumer electronics manufacturers, and has had hopes of penetrating the cable market.
While Hillcrest's Loop Remote hasn't caught on with pay-TV providers, it has licensed its motion-sensing technology to CE vendors for use in Blu-ray players, TVs, and other connected retail devices. In an interview with Light Reading Cable, Simpkins says Hillcrest will soon market a new motion-sensing remote directly to pay-TV subscribers. And he also expects that major MSOs will eventually invest in new set-tops capable of running advanced interactive applications like motion-based navigation.