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Digital Experience at CES: Hillcrest Demos Kodak Media Player User Control and Interface

by David Mercer | Jan 09, 2009

I spent some time last night at Pepcom’s Digital Experience press event. I find this one of the most useful sessions at CES. A wide mix of firms, from start-ups to major corporations, present a few of their new or yet-to-be-launched products. I was able to catch up with Hillcrest Labs, a firm I’ve covered previously, initially at CES a year ago. Hillcrest’s table featured a prominent notice detailing the background to their legal battle with Nintendo. It’s a subject that not surprisingly occupies a great deal of their spokesman’s time. In the meantime Hillcrest has been continuing to pursue partnerships with emerging digital media developers, and it was showing the new Kodak media player which has been built using Hillcrest’s navigation software and remote control technology. As I’ve previously said only the lawyers can resolve the Nintendo dispute. But having tried the Hillcrest control again last night, it became clear just how different it is from the Wii experience. I had assumed my inability to master Nintendo’s point and click devices was simply down to the usual generation gap: I haven’t found anyone born after 1990 who can’t use the Wii Remote perfectly easily, whereas I have found it almost impossible to master smooth, steady on-screen control. But I had no such problem with Hillcrest’s device, which feels much firmer and more precise. The company tells me that this does indeed reflect some of its key patents, which enable its control devices to compensate for the tinniest jitter that everyone displays in unsupported hand or arm movements. Only time will tell whether that's enough to help resolve the Nintendo dispute one way or the other. Client Reading: Digital Media Survey: An analysis of US Online Premium Video Users Add to Technorati Favorites
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