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Zeemote Provides Vital Link In Mobile/Home Convergence

by David Mercer | 2月 15, 2009

I’m here in Barcelona for my first visit to the Mobile World Congress. I feel a bit like the black sheep on a farm built to rear white sheep, given that my interests are focused on the digital home and media industries, but I’m here to look for evidence that that over-worked cliché, convergence, is a commercial reality. In other words, how soon, if ever, is the mobile phone going to become a platform for home-based multimedia services? And how seriously is the mobile industry considering this opportunity? Nokia has been showing TV-out capability on its Nseries multimedia computers for several years. But the company always seems strangely reluctant to make very much of this function. They’ve also been promising “DVD quality” video from handsets, but it never quite seems to make it to commercial launch. One challenge, if the mobile phone is going to become a competitive media platform, is the issue of user control. I can connect my handset to the big screen with a 2-metre wire, but how do I then control what’s on the big screen? Handset manufacturers need to get to grips with the 10 foot user experience, and that means tackling the issue of remote control devices. Zeemote has been doing some of that work for them, and its Bluetooth remote control/software package is now being bundled as standard with Nokia Nseries phones in the German market. Zeemote is planning to launch standalone remote controls compatible with Nokia Nseries devices later this year, priced at €39. The controllers are intended to make Ngage and other mobile phone games more acceptable on the big TV screen. They are much smaller than the traditional console-style controls, but perfectly acceptable and certainly an improvement on Nokia’s standard handset button controls. Zeemote can’t do anything about the graphics and video quality of phone-based media, so that’s something else we need to see improved, and I’m sure there will be plenty of evidence of progress on that front here at MWC. See also: Digital Experience at CES: Hillcrest Demos Kodak Media Player User Control and Interface Hillcrest sues Nintendo and wants Wii imports stopped Twitter: twitter.com/dmercer15 Complimentary Report: Digital Home Observatory: Pilot Study Add to Technorati Favorites submit to reddit
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