Hillcrest Labs Cuts Deal with Lenovo to Bring Motion, Gesture and Cursor Control to Smart TVs

written by: Richard Kastelein

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hillcrestlabslogoHillcrest Labs announced today that Lenovo’s new line of Smart TVs is using Hillcrest’s patented Freespace(R) in-air pointing and motion control software. Freespace enables point-and-click, gesture and motion control of Smart TVs through simple in-air movements of a remote control. Lenovo’s Freespace-enabled Smart TVs include the new S9 Smart TV that was unveiled on April 16 for sale across China.

Freespace will form the foundation of Lenovo’s Smart TV user experience and enable improved content navigation, better gaming options, and simple Web browsing. It provides simple to use point-and-click controls and 3D motion tracking optimized for consumers in the living room environment. This is particularly important for Android(TM) TVs, as the technology replicates the touch and tilt based controls commonly used by Android apps on other devices.

“We are very proud that Lenovo has chosen Freespace motion interface technology as the foundation of its Smart TV user interface,” said Dan Simpkins, CEO of Hillcrest Labs. “A strong brand, spirit of innovation and focus on quality will undoubtedly establish Lenovo as a Smart TV market leader. We are pleased that our products and intellectual property will be used throughout Lenovo’s impressive Smart TV product line.”

“Smart TV adoption continues at a tremendous pace, and we fully intend to take a leadership role in this market,” said Xiong Wen, General Manager of Digital Home Business Unit at Lenovo. “Hillcrest is a proven global leader in motion-enabled TV products with essential intellectual property that enables key features in these products. Moving forward, Freespace will be a core technology for our Smart TVs. Together, we will deliver the best user interfaces for TV, Web, and apps across Smart TVs.”

Lenovo’s choice of Freespace is further evidence of the technology’s importance across advanced Smart TV platforms. It also marks another major, Asia-based consumer electronics OEM to adopt Hillcrest’s technology. To support this growing market, Hillcrest also announced today that it will open a new regional office based in Taiwan, which will address the local demand for Freespace in Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, wearable electronics, and more. The office will consist of both sales and technical support staff to support Hillcrest’s growing customer base in the region.

Hillcrest has a commanding worldwide intellectual property portfolio that includes over 110 granted out of over 220 total filed patents exclusively owned by Hillcrest Labs. This includes patents which are critical to the orientation compensation, automatic calibration and intelligent motion stabilization features that ensure motion control technology is simple and intuitive to use on Smart TVs.

Additional information about Lenovo Smart TVs can be found at: tv.lenovo.com.cn. Additional information about Hillcrest Labs can be found at: www.HillcrestLabs.com.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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