PORTLAND, Ore. The first RF remote controls adhering to the emerging Radio Frequencies for Consumer Electronics (RF4CE) standard were demonstrated at the cable industry's annual show.
Remote control maker SMK Electronics Corp. (Tokyo) showed its RF4CE-compliant remote controls using technology provided by Freescale Semiconductor (Austin, Texas). Other members include Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, OKI and Texas Instruments.
"We still have some customers who want a proprietary solution, but for consumer electronics devices we [are] emphasizing the RF4CE standard," said Brett Black, commercial wireless manager for Freescale Semiconductor. "We believe that SMK's adoption of Freescale's RF4CE protocol will help make RF4CE the universal standard in RF for consumer devices."
During the cable show, SMK demonstrated a remote control with a display that could wirelessly download playlists from an iPod and display them on a TV. The same remote control was also used to control lighting in the room.
Unlike existing infrared remote controls, line-of-sight communications aren't required for RF. RF4CE uses the same IEEE 802.15.4 hardware as Zigbee-compatiable radios, but with different software protocols that allow two-way communicatons between the remote and a device.
Several consumer electronics manufacturers have already announced new consumer devices that will adhere to the RF4CE standard, with major vendors expected to start shipping devices by Christmas 2009.
Shipments are predicted to top 160 million units by 2012.