Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Netflix, Qualcomm

Qualcomm Hangs Out with Bert and Ernie

--Netflix Chief Marketing Officer, Leslie Kilgore, Steps Down
--Qualcomm Now Offering Snapdragon Processors for Connected TV
--Qualcomm Launches "Media Shifting" Platform for CE Devices, Partners with Sesame Workshop on AR

Due to the large volume of news generated by the recent 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several more days to process all the news from the show: 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.
briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • Netflix announced Friday that its chief marketing officer, Leslie Kilgore, who has served in that role for the past 12 years, has stepped down and is being replaced on an interim basis by VP of marketing, Jessie Becker. Kilgore will join the company's board as a non-executive director. Netflix also announced that it has appointed Jonathan Friedland as chief communications officer. News of Kilgore's replacement comes on the heels of a year in which Netflix made a series of marketing missteps, most notably its announcement--then subsequent abandonment--of a plan to spin off its DVD business into a separate operation and Web site called Qwikster (see the articles published on itvt.com, September 19th and October 13th).
  • At CES earlier this month, Qualcomm announced that it has expanded its Snapdragon line of processors to include processors for connected TV's. "The Snapdragon smart-TV experience will bring full Web-browsing capabilities to television, including integrated best-in-class WiFi connectivity, high-performance graphics and the latest Android apps and console-quality gaming experiences," the company states in its press materials. "Snapdragon processors will power the next wave of enhanced smart-TV experiences--including leading audio/video capabilities, pure Web browsing and more robust apps--delivering on Qualcomm's commitment of keeping consumers continuously connected to their favorite devices, content and apps. The Snapdragon S4 MPQ8064 processor features a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU--based on Qualcomm's Krait micro-architecture--Adreno 320 graphics and advanced audio/video capabilities, delivering mobile users the highest-performing mobile experience while consuming less power. The first Snapdragon powered smart TV, which is being launched by Lenovo, combines Qualcomm's mobile expertise and Lenovo's computing/CE expertise to enable the world's first smart TV running on the Android 4.0 operating system [see the article published on itvt.com, January 17th]. Qualcomm's WiFi connectivity provides seamless delivery of real-time Internet video, multi-player online gaming and local content to the television and other screens in the home. Thousands of apps from Android Market and Lenovo Store, including console games, are ready for access with a simple touch. With full Internet access, consumers can access their favorite songs and videos, share files between the TV and their tablet, smartphone or PC and control the TV via tablet or smartphone...Currently, there are more than 300 Snapdragon-based devices commercially available and more than 350 in development. The S4 line is currently being integrated into more than 70 devices from 20 leading OEM's."
  • In other Qualcomm news: 1) The company's Qualcomm Atheros subsidiary used CES to launch the Skifta Media Shifting Platform for CE devices. "Skifta-powered devices will create the framework for an interoperable wireless platform, ideal for accessing and streaming digital music, photos and videos around the home," the company states in its press materials. "The first component to be unveiled is the Skifta Wireless Audio Adapter, which is designed for manufacturers seeking to offer consumers a way to retrofit their legacy audio devices with both connectivity and support for DLNA and UPnP...The Skifta Platform will provide device manufacturers and their customers with a new hardware ecosystem that builds on the strength of the Skifta Android application and promotes the wireless connected home to a broader audience of media consumers. Skifta transforms any Android device into a global media remote control, helping consumers access and enjoy their music, videos and photos at home over WiFi and while on the move with 3G...Skifta hardware development kits and embedded software for manufacturers will be available in the coming months for products in the Skifta product line, including modules for stereos, wireless speakers, TVs, set-top boxes, wireless routers, network attached storage (NAS) drives and other digital A/V adapters. The Skifta Android application will help consumers stream and enjoy content on the Skifta-ready products, as well as on standard DLNA Certified or UPnP devices. The Skifta platform additionally incorporates a channel library, which provides manufacturers with a selection of cloud-based content they can offer their customers. Skifta channels give immediate access to Facebook Photos, Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, Soma.fm, ShoutCast, Revision3, TED Talks and more. The development kit will have WiFi, powerline communications and Ethernet networking support for distribution of content within the home." 2) The company has teamed with Sesame Workshop to create a prototype augmented reality playset that is billed as bringing physical toys to life. "The collaborative project explores the use of a tablet with a traditional playset to make children's playtime more fun and educational," Qualcomm states in its press materials. "The prototype playset includes traditional elements such as common household objects, as well as figurines of classic 'Sesame Street' characters Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie. Additionally, the demo includes a tablet and an application that uses Qualcomm's newly branded Vuforia augmented reality platform. When the tablet is pointed at the playset, the pieces and the play environment come alive through the tablet's camera, transforming the playset into an interactive experience." Said Qualcomm senior director of business development, Jay Wright: "In the past, the only place toys came to life was on TV and in movies. Today, we are bringing that magic one step closer to reality. With the ability to recognize 3D objects, Qualcomm's Vuforia platform will transform the play experience. Our collaboration with the Sesame Workshop is helping us demonstrate the power of augmented reality to enrich children's lives."
     
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