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CES 2008: Hillcrest Labs Gets $25M in New Backing

Las Vegas -- Hillcrest Labs -- the Rockville, Md.-based firm that is trying to revolutionize the TV-remote-control market with its Freespace pointing technology, which allows a wireless device to navigate through an interactive program guide with computer-mouse-like movements -- received $25 million in new financial backing through a series-D funding round.

Hillcrest picked up a new investor in AllianceBernstein and received additional funding from existing investors venture-capital firms New Enterprise Associates, Columbia Capital and Grotech Capital Group.

Hillcrest was founded in 2001. So far, it has commercialized its Freespace technology in Logitech’s MX Air wireless computer mouse, but it is still wooing cable set-top and TV manufacturers to adopt its approach.

Founder and CEO Dan Simpkins said the company has "multiple deals with major companies" to deploy the technology in the near future. It will be exhibiting its innovative Loop TV remote, which has just two buttons and a scroll wheel, and other Freespace applications at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show here.

"We aim to bring a new ‘point-and-click’ paradigm to the television and beyond," Simpkins added. "This investment is further validation of our business and technology."

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