FourthWall Launches AirCommand Solution to Link Mobile Devices to EBIF-Enabled Set-Tops

--Also Unveils EBIF User Agent and Platform Server for Motorola Set-Tops

FourthWall Media, the EBIF-focused interactive TV software company formally known as BIAP (note: the company, whose customers and partners include Comcast Media Center, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Rovi and DISH Network claims that its solutions have been deployed in over 24 million set-top boxes), is unveiling two new products at the CableLabs Winter Conference in Atlanta this week:

The first new product, AirCommand, is described by the company as a rich set of cloud-based services connecting mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to EBIF-enabled set-top boxes. According to the company, AirCommand allows the user's mobile device and set-top to be linked and controlled, thus making possible a new breed of applications, and accelerates an MSO's ability to deliver new, integrated cross-platform experiences to its subscribers.

FourthWall bills AirCommand as leveraging its extensive experience in providing EBIF technology and solutions to the cable industry to connect the TV footprint to the ever-expanding world of mobile devices--thus opening the door to "entirely new media consumption experiences." Applications made possible by the technology, according to the company, include remote programming of DVR's; the ability to view and play on-demand titles and to use social-media and messaging applications between mobile devices and set-top boxes; and cross-platform widgets, merchandising and commerce. The company claims that AirCommand supports a "limitless array" of applications that can now appear on TV without an over-the-top device or Internet connection. "Mobile devices open up a new frontier of innovative services, and the manner in which they are connected to cable set-top boxes will dictate how quickly operators can harness this new product category and associated new revenue," FourthWall CEO, Tim Peters, said in a prepared statement. "The significance of AirCommand is that it delivers common services, eliminating the need for custom development and integration for every mobile application, and allowing operators to better scale the business. And because it's an EBIF solution, it's deployable today." Added chief product officer, Ellen Dudar: "Critical to the success of AirCommand is FourthWall Media's long track record in delivering secure, reliable, and scalable EBIF products to the cable industry. As the market-leading provider of EBIF platform and application solutions, FourthWall Media is uniquely qualified to provide this multi-device communications service to operators. We believe AirCommand is a game changer in this era of ITV and device proliferation."

According to FourthWall, AirCommand services are available to all EBIF-enabled set-top boxes--including Motorola and Cisco set-tops. Tablets, smartphones, computers and other set-top boxes communicate with AirCommand through standard Web services, the company says, thus shielding third-party developers from the intricacies of ITV applications. FourthWall's demo of AirCommand at the Winter Conference will see it running on the company's own EBIF platform, including its user agents for Cisco and Motorola (see below) set-tops.

The second new product is an EBIF user agent and platform server for Motorola set-top boxes, which joins the company's existing solution for Cisco set-tops. According to the company, the new standards-based, I05-compliant solution runs on the full range of Motorola set-tops, including advanced boxes and legacy, low-resource DCT 2000's. It is built to support operator, programmer and advertiser applications such as Canoe Ventures' suite of bound advanced advertising features, the company says. "FourthWall Media has been providing EBIF solutions to the Cisco market and customers including Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Rovi and a large number of independents," FourthWall CTO, Aaron Ye, said in a prepared statement. "Now we are bringing our success and proven market performance to the Motorola ecosystem. We are committed to CableLabs' EBIF specifications and vision for a ubiquitous platform. As an EBIF platform provider, we offer an open and scalable application platform to our customers to deploy the applications and services they need. With the availability of the same EBIF platform on Motorola, we can help accelerate the pace of full EBIF deployment and product innovation across the industry."

According to FourthWall, the new Motorola EBIF user agent and platform server will be commercially available as soon as it completes Motorola's Acadia certification process. The company says that it will show a range of bound and unbound EBIF apps running on Motorola set-tops equipped with the new solution (as well as on Cisco boxes) in its booth at the Winter Conference.

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