Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): ruwido, S3 Group, Broadcom, Teleplan

--ruwido Launches aura Gesture-Based Remote Control to Facilitate Interaction with ITV Content
--ruwido Launches voco media "Ergonomic" TV User Interface
--S3 Group, Broadcom Team to Enable Delivery of Digital TV Content to Multiple Devices
--S3, Teleplan in Exclusive North American Reseller Agreement for S3's StormTest Decision Line

Due to the large volume of news generated by the IFA, IBC and CEDIA trade shows--and because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several more days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • At IBC 2011 earlier this week, Austrian remote control company, ruwido, unveiled a gesture-based remote control device, called the "aura interaction mechanism," that is specially designed for the interactive TV viewing experience. "The new solution enables a combination of a lean-back experience and active interaction with the ever increasing number of services and content," the company states in its press materials. "Based on a new concept enhancing tactile feedback, aura enables the user to feel in control while selecting from thousands of content items. When using an input device with buttons, users simply press the button for longer to speed up the navigation. aura, however, allows faster, more intuitive navigation by enabling viewers to physically push the control of the input device stronger or weaker, faster or slower. Content discovery is easier, quicker and more intuitive, allowing the user to quickly navigate through catalogs to find exactly what they want to watch, within the EPG or on-demand library...The key element of aura is the functional body of the input device. This functional body is completely monolithic. The monolithic shape minimizes the required number of buttons for functions--because specific functions can be performed by changing the orientation or direction of the device e.g. turn device right--volume up/down. Simply turning the device over and putting it on the living room table, for example, activates the TV to be turned off. The monolithic design creates a sense of simplicity and transforms the interaction with ITV content down to its basic essence. The aura interaction mechanism enables operators to bring services and content perceptively closer to the consumer; it allows the consumer to intuitively select services without any cognitive effort and enhances precision when interacting with content. The aura concept is bringing content closer to the user by enhancing the interaction mechanism. aura touches the customer's mind and senses, giving them an intuitive control for all their content." Said ruwido CEO, Ferdinand Maier: "So much of the industry focus is on next-generation services such as on-demand and 3D, yet the user experience should not be ignored. It is, after all, the gateway to enhanced revenues and increased loyalty towards an operator. The way in which users interact with their TV service is vital in ensuring they maximize the value of the content available to them. By intuitively enabling users to scroll through available programs, the better visibility there will be for the full library. Precision is vital in this case--if users find it hard to locate exactly what they are searching for, they will get frustrated and give up. aura measures the user's intentions for how they want to interact and engage with the TV. It changes the way we select our favorite programs and provides greater visibility to content than ever before."
  • ruwido also used IBC 2011 to unveil a new "ergonomic" TV user interface--dubbed voco media and consisting of a remote control and an on-screen menu--that is based on STMicroelectronics' Freeman Ultra TV system-on-a-chip (SoC). "voco media running on the Freeman Ultra platform, fully supports smart TV use," the company states in its press materials. "The interactive on-screen menu, combined with the minimalistic remote control, allows a new form of user experience directly on the TV without the need to use a variety of remote controls...voco media is an enhanced user interface, developed by ruwido Austria in a user-centered, research-driven approach. It allows the user to simply navigate interactive TV content and services using only six navigation buttons. Enhanced with a fingerprint-scanning solution, voco media can individualize content, reaching out to every member of the consumer's household to enhance their TV experience and enable critical functions like robust security and parental control. The Freeman Ultra TV SoC...with a dedicated high-performance application CPU, delivers the smoothest experience of Internet TV and broadcast applications. It accelerates 3D graphics with an advanced GPU supporting Adobe Air for TV v2.5 Flash graphics that perfectly supports access to a broad range of content, applications, and services offered by ruwido and other content service providers." Said ruwido CEO, Maier: "The co-operation between ruwido and STMicroelectronics enables new forms of user interfaces for the end-consumer. The long-standing expertise of ruwido, with its innovative user-interaction concepts, is combined with the latest development platforms of ST, allowing us to develop new forms of intuitive, inspiring and innovative user interfaces."
  • S3 Group, a Dublin-based provider of automated testing solutions for digital TV content delivery platforms and devices (note: last month, the company announced that Canoe Ventures had chosen its StormTest Development Center as the automated testing solution for its national deployment of EBIF-enabled interactive TV applications--see the interview with S3's VP of technology, Sean Brennan, that was published on, August 8th), has announced that it has teamed with Broadcom to enable the delivery of digital TV programming and services to multiple devices within the home, including residential gateways, tablets and laptops. "Integrated on Broadcom's BCM7425 HD Full Resolution 3DTV with HD Transcoding Set-Top Box SoC, S3 Group's StormTest Development Center technology demonstrates the immediacy and accuracy of implementing automated testing solutions to ensure the correct delivery of interactive applications to multiple devices," the company states in its press materials. "Today, there is an imperative need for proven testing solutions across a variety of devices as consumers continue to bring more digital content and services into the home...StormTest Development Center allows automated testing to be executed efficiently and effectively across multiple devices and platforms. While each system can test up to 16 different devices simultaneously, each running different interactive applications and embedded firmware, it also enables automated test of the interaction between connected devices. The comprehensive capabilities of StormTest Development Center, coupled with S3 Group's professional services and integration team, have quickly been embraced by more than 20 of the world's leading digital TV operators and vendors.
  • In other S3 Group news: The company has announced that it has entered into an exclusive reseller partnership for North America with Teleplan, for its recently launched StormTest Decision Line portfolio (see the article published on, August 17th). The partnership will also see Teleplan distributing S3 Group's technology to customers in other parts of the world, the company says. "StormTest Decision Line is a portfolio of solutions designed to quickly and accurately perform automated tests to ensure that new or refurbished devices are ready for subscriber deployment," S3 Group explains in its press materials. "This recently announced product joins the industry-proven StormTest Development Center, which has been deployed by more than 20 operators around the world. Key attributes and capabilities of StormTest Decision Line include: 1) Offers real-time, intelligent automated decisions based upon testing results, ensuring that those correctly functioning devices are deployed and those that are not functioning are efficiently repaired before being sent into the field. 2) Increases cost-effectiveness of testing, as multiple devices can be tested simultaneously. 3) Ensures a flexible, programmable and future-proof automated testing platform. 4) Delivers a proven track record of lowering the number of no-fault-found devices that are sent back into the field. 5) Performs reliable and robust audio and video testing across multiple devices."
North America