Philips’ groundbreaking remote control technologies put their customers one step ahead

Date: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 17:53

Philips Home Control is today emphasizing its role as a leader in the remote control market with the successful design in and commercialization of several pioneering technologies that were shown at IBC last year

Philips’ groundbreaking remote control technologies put their customers one step ahead

Thanks to Philips innovations, it is now simpler & easier than ever for consumers to control their home entertainment systems. Philips Home Control is showcasing uWand, a direct pointing motion sensing technology that delivers 3D capabilities with the same intuitiveness as a multi-touch screen. It gives an immediate and accurate response without extra effort. Combined with the 3D gesture control, the simplicity of the device gives more possibilities and ease of use. A small camera embedded in the handheld gives uWand the intuitive direct pointing capability. You can directly interact with interactive services on the TV screen by pointing, clicking and using fluent gestures. Philips Home Control is the preferred supplier of the uWand technology.
Another good example of Philips innovation is the remarkable 4-in-1 remote control developed for the Lenovo All-in-One A600 PC. This remote control makes use of the Philips relative motion sensing platform that allows you to navigate and select your desired content by simply moving your wrist, or even play games through the movement of the remote. “Philips is the leading motion remote supplier in the world”, says Lenovo Senior Product Planning Manager, Sean Liu. “We have a good cooperation in the product development and jointly delivered this innovative product to the market.”
Cable and IPTV providers are also looking to offer a total experience to the consumer. Oregan Networks, a leading provider of embedded solutions for digital home entertainment devices, is already designing-in a motion sensing remote. Milya Timergaleyeva, Oregan’s VP of Market Strategy says, “Philips motion sensing technology is a significant step forward in remote control innovation. Originally limited to the gaming domain, but intrinsically versatile in its use and benefits, it allows for greater interactivity for just about every type of application on TV, ranging from niche gaming scenarios to point-and-click experience with browser-driven applications, such as electronic programming guides, home media browsing and widgets. It essentially represents the ‘mouse’ of the TV world.  Oregan is delighted to be working with Philips on exciting new consumer entertainment products.”
Philips continues to invest in consumer research to improve its motion sensing propositions. Unlike other motion sensing technologies available today, Philips’ platform is ready to work as a bi-directional voice handset enabling VOIP application as well, ideal for service providers looking at enabling a STB as the option to their telephony services.
There are also other ways to easily navigate through all different home entertainment content. Philips believes this should be as easy as selecting channels on a television. That’s why the company was able to sell its advanced thumbwheel technology which – unlike pressing a button – makes it simple for users to scroll through large amounts of audio/video content like long playlists, with variable speed. Hard disk drives and TV’s of Philips including this technology are already on the market and several Set-Top-Box manufacturers are designing it in, offering unprecedented simplicity in digital content management.
Together with ease of use, users want the freedom to fully control their home entertainment equipment, even when hidden inside a cabinet. To address this need, Philips developed several two-way radio frequency (2-way RF) platforms, and has successfully designed this into e.g. internet-radio, where the screen of the remote allows the display of album art and easy selection of tracks, making it much more comfortable and fun for the users to choose their music.
As radio frequency is becoming increasingly important as the way to control your devices, the RF4CE consortium was brought to life. As a technology pioneer, Philips is one of the co-founders of this consortium.RF4CE is the first open RF remote control standard for audio video consumer electronics, based on 802.15.4 technology. The standard enables low cost bi-directional RF remote control applications, low power consumption and increased design flexibility for your products. In March 2009 the RF4CE Consortium agreed to work with the ZigBee Alliance to jointly deliver this standardized specification for radio frequency based (RF) remote controls. Philips’ ZigBeeRF4CE solutions include remote control reference designs and receiver modules helping you to design-in ZigBeeRF4CE in your product.
Apart from technologies to make it easier to control your devices, Philips has also made it simpler to set up its universal remote controls to work with a large variety of components. In the past, setting up a universal remote control often resulted in frequent calls to customers’ helpdesks, tying up unnecessary resources. Thanks to an optimized database structure and various consumer-validated ease of setup features, Philips remotes are enabling customers to cut down on their helpdesk calls.
“Home entertainment equipment is becoming increasingly complex, and more and more of these different components are linked in a home network,” said Jean-Paul Abrams, Global Commercial Manager, Philips Home Control. “Consumers are looking for solutions that are easy and intuitive to set-up, straightforward to control, and work as expected. Our innovations in home controls make it possible for them to realize their needs.”

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