Hillcrest Sees More Movement from TV, Game Companies

Hillcrest Laboratories is staking a bigger claim to technologies that let consumers control games and other television content with their body movements.

Hillcrest, a maker of a Nintendo Wii-like remote control for navigating Internet content on televisions, has revealed that it designed the technology behind a motion-sensing remote control for new high-end televisions made by LG Electronics, the Korean consumer electronics maker.

Hillcrest also says it has licensed its patents on motion control technology to Sony’s videogame division. Sony (SNE) and Hillcrest spokesmen wouldn’t talk about the terms of the deal, but it’s likely to be relevant to PlayStation Move, an upcoming motion-sensing game controller for Sony’s PlayStation 3.

While it’s unclear how much Hillcrest is profiting from the deals, they’re a sign that some of the big electronics makers are taking the startup’s expertise and intellectual property in motion control technology seriously. They also show how a technology that has been used to swing virtual tennis rackets and other in-game objects is now emerging as a way to navigate other forms of content on television sets. The array of Internet video, photos and applications on Web-enabled televisions are becoming tougher to navigate with traditional button-centric remote controls.

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