Movea enlists MEMS to bring pay-TV into Internet age
R Colin Johnson
9/9/2011 12:14 PM EDT
PORTLAND, Ore.—Cable and satellite television providers have lagged behind in their exploitation of the opportunities being taken advantage of by Internet protocol television (IPTV), which today is being watched on computers, gaming controllers and a new breed of Internet-connected smart TVs, all of which encourage consumers to "cut the cable." MoveTV, on the other hand, is designed to put cable and satellite TV back in the driver's seat by enlisting advanced motion control with MEMS sensors that is integrated with a deep software infrastructure which brings pay-TV into the Internet age.
"MoveTV is an integrated platform for pay-TV that puts cable and satellite on an equal footing with IPTV providers," said David Rothenberg, worldwide marketing manager for Movea. "It starts with motion-enabled remote controls for the set-top box, then adds special content offerings like games designed for TV plus integrates apps for smartphones and tablets."
Movea (Grenoble, France) is a pioneer in motion-processing software that harnesses micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) to create smart remote controllers which are already being sold by major remote control makers, such as SMK Corp. (Tokyo), as well as by IPTV set-top box makers, such as the popular Iliad S.A. (Paris) subsidiary called "Free." Now MoveTV is repacking those motion control algorithms for traditional cable and satellite TV providers so that they can service smart TVs just as easily as standard TVs—plus offer unique services that cannot easily be matched by IPTV startups.
Movea has already signed up one of South Korea's major cable TV providers—C&M Media Co. Ltd. (Seoul) working with Remote Solution Co. Ltd. (Kimchoen)—and next month will be pitching Comcast in the U.S. on the benefits of MoveTV. Eventually the company hopes to extend its partnerships with suppliers of remote-control MEMS chip like Analog Devices Inc., STMicroelectronics NV and Texas Instruments Inc. into cozy relationships with traditional cable and satellite TV providers, thus bringing antiquated pay-TV services into the Internet age.
"The big thing that cable and satellite TV has that IPTV does not is content aggregation—so that consumers don't have to hunt all over the Internet to find videos to watch," said Rothenberg. "We see pay-TV as developing its content aggregation into all kinds of new areas by offering motion-enabled apps to drive their business model for smart TV. Eventually the traditional cable and satellite service providers will enjoy revenue sharing with developers of all types of new interactive TV apps, such as health- and wellness-services."
MoveTV offers a SmartMotion solution for pay-TV that includes an entire entertainment ecosystem from its GestureBuilder for creating motion-controlled remotes and apps (where the smartphone becomes the remote) plus extensions at both ends of the spectrum—from its Air MotionIC firmware for embedded devices to its SmartMotion Server software that allows cable and satellite services to offer services that respond to motion controllers.
MEMS-based motion controllers—whether they are upgraded remote controls capable of pointing to on-screen buttons, or apps running on smartphones or tablets to accomplish the same end—are the key to integrating Internet-based services with pay-TV, according to Movea. MoveTV aims to create the necessary motion-control ecosystem that gives cable and satellite TV providers access to the same MEMS-based motion control that has already revolutionized the smartphone and touchscreen tablet.