Hands On with the uWand, Changing the Remote Control Experience with Broadcom Tech [Video]

Even the laziest of couch potatoes might agree that pressing buttons on the TV remote is the most passive way of interacting with the latest generation of smart TVs.

Thankfully, gaming systems like the Nintendo Wii (with its gesture-based Wiimotes) have ushered in a new understanding of how consumers can get hands-on with the tube.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show this week, Philips is showcasing its partnership with Broadcom and others by demoing a sophisticated new gesture-based remote control, called uWand. CES 2013 Logo

The uWand’s marketing pitch is dead-simple: “We all know how to point,” one of its glossy brochures showed.

The experience involves simple gestures to navigate across the TV, using the full screen to navigate through an on-screen channel guide or even journey through a video game quest.

“It’s too tedious to press down, down, left, left to get somewhere, but the uWand brings simple gestures to get to the content” said Navin Natoewal, general manager of Media Interaction and Intellectual Property & Standards at Netherlands-based Philips.

We spent some time with Natoewal and the uWand team at the Philips booth at CES and got a first-hand look at how these gestures — flicking, swiping and waving — are changing the user experience. At the heart of it all is Broadcom’s BCM7425, a set-top-box platform that’s integrated with uWand drivers in the set-top boxes in most living rooms.

Check out the video below to learn more about uWand and, of course, to see it in action:

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About the Author

Peter Guanjie Zhao is a former quality assurance intern at Broadcom. He is a third-year international student from Brazil pursuing his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Business at the University… More