Freescale touts two-way traffic TV remote

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Freescale touts two-way traffic TV remote

Chipmaker pushes Entertainment Control Platform.

Freescale Semiconductor has released new radio frequency technology to control consumer electronics devices such as televisions, stereos and set-top boxes. 

The Entertainment Control Platform (ECP) replaces current-generation remote controls that rely on infrared signals, allowing for two-way communication and eliminating the need for the remote to have a line of sight with the appliance.

A user could display a programming guide on a remote control, for instance, or flip through a song list on their stereo.

For the standard to become a success, however, Freescale would have to convince device makers to start deploying the wireless technology in their appliances.

The chipmaker claimed to be working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, but did not disclose any company names.

Freescale unveiled the new technology at its Technology Forum in Orlando, Florida.

The ECP is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standard, which provides a low power, low bandwidth wireless technology with a range of up to 30 metres.

The technology is also used by the ZigBee standard. Both ECP and ZigBee have added layers to the base 802.15.4 technology. 

The ZigBee Alliance has also been eyeing remote controls as well as wireless light switches and sensor networks for commercial applications. 

Analysts have high expectations, but the ZigBee market has so far largely failed to materialise.
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