sofatronic to Unveil New Interactive TV Solutions, iTV Kaleidoscope and iTV Dashboard, at Cable Show

--Claims iTV Kaleidoscope Allows Even Novices to Build Complex Applications

sofatronic, a Hamburg, Germany-based company that specializes in Java-based interactive video technologies (Blu-ray Disc, tru2way, MHP), contacted [itvt] Wednesday to let us know about its plans for next month's NCTA Cable Show in Los Angeles (May 11th-13th).

The company plans to demo its new interactive TV platform, iTV Kaleidoscope, which it says includes a range of products that enable broadcasters, MSO's advertising agencies and developers to create, manage and deliver interactive TV applications and services. It bills the platform as lowering the "complex and expensive" entry barriers for third-party developers, and as thus helping grow a "creative developer community that fuels the market with fresh, user-friendly content." It claims that the platform streamlines the interactive TV authoring workflow and simplifies the complex application creation process by removing the need to manually code every single aspect of ITV applications. With Kaleidoscope, the company says, rich interactive features can be easily added to projects without writing a single line of Java code--instead, developers simply choose from a line-up of ready-made application modules, customize their project's look-and-feel, and are ready to go. Ready-made apps currently available for the platform, sofatronic says, include social networking apps, casual games, email and messenger clients, information services and reminders, advertising widgets and VOD solutions.

According to the company, the platform allows both novices and expert users to author complex applications, and is fully designed for professional high-volume production. It allows authors to combine interactivity, connectivity and dynamic content integration to create almost any type of interactive experience imaginable, the company claims. The company also says that iTV Kaleidoscope helps to rapidly prototype and test applications, reducing the costs associated with this process and shortening time-to-market. The platform not only streamlines the production process for interactive applications, sofatronic claims, but also increases the quality of those apps by ensuring "the highest level of compatibility and performance" with all current boxes.

In addition, sofatronic plans to launch its new iTV Dashboard service at the Cable Show. According to the company, the service "converts the TV set into an innovative universal dock that brings the most popular online information services to the home television set." It allows viewers to configure their own, individual information portal on the TV screen, which can aggregate and manage data and profiles across an MSO's services, the company says, adding that this will "become an attractive alternative to the way people today sync for updates and info on their handheld devices and computers."