Invention and intellectual property company Rambus has had its difficulties over the past few years, and garnered an unfortunate reputation in the media as something of a patent troll, but the firm is determined to change its image by making good on its technology inventions.
At CES the firm was showing off two technologies; a completely reinvented LED lightbulb with an open top to allow for thermal dissipation, and a mobile TV platform which combines visual search with a plethora of social features.
Rambus said its LED lightbulb design combined high efficiency with longevity and ease-of-use, designed to provide consumers with the quality and lighting distribution of traditional incandescent bulbs using close to one-quarter the power and lasting up to 25 times longer.
The firm said the bulbs were also unique in terms of their “fundamentally different” design, which includes an open top to allow for thermal dissipation.
The bulb family also boasts Rambus’ MicroLens optical technology, allowing for the use of a cylindrical light guide inside the bulb to produce a consistent, spherical distribution of light. MicroLens optics are already used in backlighting cell phones, computer screens, televisions and other displays.
Rambus said it has also designed the bulbs to have a very low bill of materials, ensuring the product would cost less than any other bulb on the market.
Since Rambus only deals in IP, the firm has partnered with a Canadian company out of Montreal, called Elite, to bring the bulbs to big retail stores in North America within the next two quarters.
“That is the new model of Rambus; to license technology and patents when appropriate, but also to bring that into product,” noted Jerome Nadel, Rambus’ CMO.
At CES, Rambus was also showing off its new Imerz platform which combines visual search with a plethora of social features.
The firm said it saw mobile as a replacement for television and that Imerz would allow consumers to interact with and access “over the top” video in a personalized, immersive way. That includes being able to connect one’s mobile to the TV and use the handheld almost like a remote control. It also allows for on-screen interactivity with video and broadcast content, including frame-by-frame synchronization of temporal/spatial tags for story-telling, product information and e-commerce content tagging.
Companies have to market the products they can to compete. If they really have an advantage in their bill of materials, they will become a market leader in the LED bulbs. As soon as they are as cost effective as the CFL, I will be a customer.
Nice LED bulb. I'm all for them. Reducing the BOM is indeed what it's all about, when it comes to LED lighting.
But let's talk about that tablet, and how supposedly I would need it, along with a peer-to-peer protocol running between tablet and some extra box attached to the TV (or some other smarts in the TV set), to make my TV into an Internet TV. Come now. Less is more.
With a PC acting as set-top box, or alternatively a processor and browser built into the TV itself, I am able to do what was being demonstrated, without the tablet, without the peer to peer protocol, and without whatever extra box was needed, connected to the TV, to allow the tablet to talk to the TV. Sure, I'm using a PC as STB, because the CE companies give me no choice. But why insist on a rube goldberg design for something that's so simple?
I watched your video full screen, on my HDTV, sitting on the couch, and am now typing this, with wireless keyboard on my lap. If I had that tablet's software in the PC, or something similar, I could use nothing more than the wireless mouse for all the searching and browsing he was doing by pawing at the tablet. What could be easier?
And it was instructive to see all those greasy fingerprints on the tablet's screen! Paws off my TV, please!
@iniewski, yes its a big transition from IO to bulbs but then currently LED bulb market is growing. People are looking for low-cost LED bulbs which are more efficient and lasts much longer. If Rambus keeps the price of the product low as it has claimed then I am sure it will capture the market easily.
Interesting that a newcomer sees ways to significantly reduce cost. I hope it's not a "grass is greener over there" solution.
Open top to reduce thermal sounds strange, normally hot air flows up and most of my lamps are pointing down (although I would like a 70-ies style disco floor).
" to license technology and patents when appropriate, but also to bring that into product"
In my mind, this takes Rambus far outside of the patent troll world. Whether they are successful or not remains to be seen, but actually making use of patents fits with their ultimate purpose. That's a lot different than buying up someone else's paper and then trying to find people to bully into paying a license fee.
"how to make a better light bulb!" If and when fluorescent bulbs are banned in the US, LED will become even more prevalent. For the moment, fluorescent bulbs are quite inexpensive (50 cents each or so). Can LED bulbs compete? Well, if the 50 cent flashlights are an indicator, the answer is yes! Their "light pipe" looks to be quite inexpensive. If that's the area of their IP, then perhaps they have something... The demo was very good (obviously dimmable)