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Multifaceted Remote Control Featured at CES

Always on the lookout for design innovation within the CE device remote control category, as you may recall I favor the minimalist approach -- where less buttons are better. Here's a new design that will be on display at CES.

RICAVISION International, Inc. announced the launch of the Ricavision Microsoft Windows Vista SideShow Media Center Remote Control, which makes use of the Vista SideShow auxiliary display platform to allow convenient access to information received from a Windows Vista-based PC.

The Vista SideShow Remote Control has a built-in 2.5 inch color QVGA LCD display that features Class 1 (100-meter) Bluetooth capability. Using Windows SideShow, applications can send data to an ecosystem of devices that can then send control commands back to the application on the PC. For example, an e-mail application can send the last 10 received e-mail messages to one of the devices, or the user can schedule a TV program to record on a Media Center PC.

Apparently the Ricavision package is also the only one that comes with an external USB RC6 receiver and with a Class 1 Bluetooth receiver. Translation: it turns the Vista PC into a Bluetooth computer capable of receiving data from any other Bluetooth device within a 100-meter range.

The remote control provides a set of four 'Gadgets' that will be an extension of the Media Center for Windows Vista including: TV, Music, Pictures/Videos, and Now Playing.

It offers more extensive Gadgets than ever, to enable the user to extract data from the Media Center in Windows SideShow XML format and send it through Windows SideShow to compatible devices, such as a remote control device, an LCD display panel, etc. It will also accept incoming navigation commands from the various devices and send them back to the Media Center.

Due to the development timeframe, these Media Center Gadgets will not be available as part of Windows Vista, but the Gadgets will be available separately for release during the Windows Vista RTM timeframe. The Ricavision Vista SideShow Remote Control and Receiver Kit has an MSRP of $199 and will be available in April of 2007. Visit RICAVISION for additional product details.

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