Following LG and TCL, Hisense is now the latest TV manufacturer to adopt Hillcrest Labs' Freespace technology. According to the agreement, Hisense, the world's fifth largest smart TV brand (as of Q1 2013, according to NPD DisplaySearch), will be able to add in-air pointing, gesture control and motion control -- all via a remote control -- to its future smart TVs and set-top boxes. This also means TCL now faces a fellow Chinese competitor with the same set of Freespace features. While there's no time frame just yet, we've been told that Hisense will eventually sell these next-gen devices in the US and China later this year, so stay tuned.
Hillcrest Labs Selected by Hisense to Bring Motion, Gesture and Cursor Control to Smart TVs and Set-Top Boxes
- Hillcrest's Freespace® MotionEngine™ to Power Hisense's Smart TV Products -
Rockville, MD – September 4, 2013 – Hillcrest Labs and Hisense Company Limited (Hisense) today announced a strategic partnership by which Hisense will deploy Hillcrest's patented Freespace® in-air pointing and motion control software in its next-generation of Smart TVs and Pulse set-top boxes. Freespace enables point-and-click, gesture and motion control of Smart TV devices through simple in-air movements of a handheld remote control. This allows users to navigate their TV user interface just like they do on computers, Smartphones and tablets.
Hisense is the fifth largest television manufacturer in the world with a growing global business in both the branded and OEM sectors. The company's range of television offerings span from high quality, entry-level to among the most sophisticated and highest performing Smart televisions available. Hisense's Freespace-enabled products will be available in the U.S., China, and other markets later this year. Additional information, such as product models and pricing, will be available at launch.
"With Freespace, Hisense will provide consumers with a more intuitive and efficient way to control their Smart TV products and easily navigate content and apps," said Chad Lucien, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Hillcrest Labs. "Hisense is a proven market-leader in China, and we're proud that they have selected Freespace as they expand their global footprint in the Smart TV market."
"Hisense has demonstrated both its ambition and capacity to provide consumers everywhere with the most advanced, highest quality and yet most intuitive Smart televisions," said Jonathan Frank, Vice President of Marketing, Hisense USA. "Partnering with a technology leader like Hillcrest to enable our Smart TVs with category-leading motion interfaces is a win-win for both organizations but, importantly, for our channel partners and our customer base. We look forward to working with Hillcrest to empower and delight our customers around the world."
Hisense has the second-highest brand share in China and is the fifth largest Smart TV brand worldwide based on shipment share, according to the NPD DisplaySearch Global TV Shipment report. Worldwide connected TV shipments are forecast at 80 million units, according to the NPD Quarterly Smart TV report.
"Smart TV has evolved into a mature category, particularly in China," said Paul Gray, Director TV Electronics & Europe TV Research, NPD DisplaySearch. "For TV brands, the battle is no longer one of simply having Internet services, but increasingly of making usage an appealing and intuitive experience. CES 2013 showed that Chinese brands are beginning to set the agenda in Smart TV, based on a home market where over half the sets shipping now have Smart TV capability."
Hillcrest has a worldwide intellectual property portfolio that includes over 100 granted and 200 filed patents. Additional information about Hisense products can be found at www.Hisense.com. Additional information about Hillcrest Labs can be found at: www.HillcrestLabs.com.