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Intel Points to Motion-Sensitive Remote Control

Intel is adding a point-and-click, motion-sensitive remote control option to its IP set-top and gateway platform for pay TV operators, through a licensing deal with Hillcrest Labs.

Intel’s new Media Server Reference Design, aimed at equipment makers developing set-top boxes and media servers based on the Intel Atom processor CE5300, will include the Hillcrest Freespace Motion Engine software. That will let MSRD devices use motion controls for navigating on-screen interfaces.

“Operators are seeking better and innovative ways to help consumers find and navigate shows and applications," Ran Senderovitz, general manager of marketing for Intel's service provider division, said in a statement. "With Freespace, we’re creating an out-of-the box, motion-ready reference solution for operators and OEMs globally.”

Separately, the company's Intel Media group is planning to launch an Internet TV service -- in a challenge traditional pay TV services -- that uses a custom-built set-top box outfitted with a camera for facial recognition. Intel hasn't publicly discussed specifics on the service, its partners or the set-top.

Intel's dual core Atom-based system-on-a-chip supports a 3D/2D graphics rendering engine, provides integrated power management and features a H.264 B-picture hardware encoder. The MSRD integrates components such as a media engine, broadcast stacks, virtualization and now motion-control technology, intended to speed development time.

The MSRD will be available in April 2013 from Intel and through its distribution partner Videon Central.

Hillcrest’s Freespace software is currently used in Roku's Internet set-tops and in smart TVs from LG Electronics and TCL. Other companies that have licensed Freespace include Sony Computer Entertainment, Universal Electronics (UEI) and Logitech.