LG Creates Motion-control Remotes for 3DTVs

ROCKVILLE, MD.: LG Electronics is integrating motion-control in its 3DTV sets. The news comes from the vendor, Hillcrest Labs, which said the electronics manufacturer is shipping so-equipped 3DTV sets now in Korea. Global distribution will follow, Hillcrest said.

LG and Hillcrest entered into a license agreement for LG to use Hillcrest Labs’ patented Freespace in-air pointing and motion control solution in current and future products. Hillcrest said the resulting “Magic Wand” remote will come with select new Infinia TV sets. The user interface controls Internet applications, TV menus, embedded games and other functions, using hand motions to control an on-screen cursor.

“Decades ago, the mouse transformed the entire computer industry, and ushered in a new era of simplicity and interactivity for consumers around the world,” said Kwon IL Geun, vice president of LCD TV Lab of LG Electronics. “Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Hillcrest Labs, we have been able to create a first-of-its-kind, mouse-like experience for television that was specifically designed for our new connected TVs.”

David Mercer of Strategy Analytics said the new remote format made sense given the ever-increasing functions of new TV sets.

“As more over-the-top content choices become available on TV, conventional up-down-left-right-remote control systems simply will not scale,” Mercer said. “Pointer-based interfaces like Freespace are far more efficient and fun. LG is the first TV manufacturer in the world to recognize and apply this concept to televisions, and we believe that it will be a siren call for the rest of the TV industry.”

Here’s some boilerplate from Hillcrest on its motion-control technology:

High Resolution Pointer Accuracy: The Magic Wand is a highly precise pointing remote control which allows users to easily select icons and images, small and large, on a high-resolution screen.

Orientation Compensation: Regardless of the orientation of the Magic Wand remote in space (e.g. pointing at the ground, turned sideways, etc.), Freespace technology generates intuitive cursor motions on the screen. MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) sensors combined with Hillcrest’s proprietary software enable consistent control of the device from any position--standing, sitting or reclining.

Adaptive Tremor Removal:Hillcrest’s technology can distinguish between intentional and unintentional movement, including natural hand tremors. This means the Magic Wand’s cursor does not shake or jiggle on screen like that of a Wii-like game controller. Instead of employing simple filtering techniques, which would reduce the accuracy of the pointer, the Magic Wand dynamically measures and removes each individual user's tremor while maintaining low latency of motion.

No Line-of-Sight: Unlike conventional infrared devices and optical motion-sensing devices that require line-of-sight operation, the Magic Wand remote uses RF (radio frequency) technology, so users do not need to point directly at the computer or TV screen. This gives users greater freedom to move around at a range of up to 30 feet across the living room.