UEI Licenses Hillcrest’s Remote Technology

Universal Electronics Inc., a top manufacturer of audio-video remote controls, has licensed Hillcrest Labs’ screen-navigation technology and is “exploring potential product concepts” based on the system.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

UEI’s major cable customers include Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable. It also sells to consumer electronics companies including Bose, Hitachi, Sony and Vizio, and retailers like Best Buy, Circuit City, Costco, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart.

Hillcrest’s Freespace technology uses digital signal processing algorithms that rely on gravity and other inputs to determine a pointing device’s position in the air.

“As consumer demand for television entertainment and control continues to evolve, we are always seeking new ways to differentiate,” UEI CEO Paul Arling said, in a statement. “We’re pleased to partner with Hillcrest to license Freespace technology and explore innovative ways to help users to more easily interact with their entertainment devices and content.”

In January, Hillcrest announced it closed $25 million in fourth-round funding led by new investor AllianceBernstein, bringing the startup to a total of more than $50 million raised to date.

Hillcrest has one other Freespace licensee to date: Logitech, which uses the technology in the MX Air wireless mouse for PCs.