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LG licenses Hillcrest's in-air mouse patents

Thu, 08/26/2010 - 8:30am
Brian Santo

The remote controls for some of LG Electronics' new high-end TVs are based on Hillcrest Labs' Freespace in-air pointing and motion control technology.

Hillcrest Labs is marketing remote controls based on the same technology under the Loop brand name.

LG has signed a worldwide license agreement to use Hillcrest Labs' Freespace in current and future products. The first LG TVs to use such a remote are the company's 3-D-ready, Internet-connected Infinia line of HDTVs, currently shipping in the Korean market. LG is calling its remote control the Magic Wand.

The Magic Wand, the Loop and other remote controls based on Hillcrest Labs' Freespace technology behave similarly to the controllers used with Nintendo's Wii game console. Two years ago, Hillcrest Labs filed a patent infringement suit against Nintendo for allegedly violating its Freespace patents.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Sony elected to license those patents, Hillcrest announced today. It remains unclear whether Sony intends to use the technology for remote controls for TVs, its PlayStation game consoles or both.

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