IMJ, a Tokyo-based digital marketing and mobile technology development firm, won the honors as having the "best new idea" for a product most likely to succeed -- with a set-top box the size of a USB flash drive designed to turn any HDTV into an interactive, connected television -- at CableLabs' 2012 Summer Conference.
Ten companies participated in Monday's Innovation Showcase showdown session, during which each had up to 10 minutes to present and demo its technology solution for the conference attendees.
IMJ, whose name stands for Inter Media Japan, demonstrated the MG Stick, which delivers Internet Protocol-based video over Wi-Fi to a TV set. The Linux-based HDMI television "stick" lets smartphones act as a remote control, and supports Android applications as well as the ability to access content securely from over-the-top services.
"We are very excited to have opportunities to work together with operators and providers, providing rich and exciting experiences to end users," IMJ broadBand department alliance division manager Nariaki Hatta said in statement.
Roku, which sells an Internet set-top that provides access to Netflix and other OTT services, has developed a similar device that turns HDTVs into "smart" connected televisions.
About 1,000 CableLabs members and vendors are attending the conference in Keystone, Colo. The event is closed to media.
The other presenting companies were:
- Alcatel-Lucent, whose presentation included a demo delivering a cable-TV equivalent video service to additional outlets inside and outside the home;
- Arris, which showed an integrated digital headend that supports MPEG and IP video;
- Guavus, which showed its Reflex analytics platform and applications for aggregating operational data from core cable network services;
- i4Vu, which provides a client-server platform and technologies that let operators provide a video discovery and consumption experience on any IP-connected device;
- Kwarter, which showed second-screen solutions aimed at engaging sports fans, blending social, game and reward features;
- Lyrical Labs, a developer of encoding technology that claims it can compress video files by an average gain of 50% over existing H.264 encoders;
- Netgear, which showed DOCSIS 3.0 multiservice gateway with 24 channels down and 8 channels up plus support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and DTCP-IP;
- SeaChange International, which demo'd its Nucleus headless hybrid gateway software for simultaneous IP and QAM video delivery throughout the home; and
- SnappyTV, a provider of live, cloud-based video management solutions that include a suite of editing, publishing and distribution tools for real-time video content to drive social engagement.
"Once again, the Innovation Showcase told a convincing story about cable's importance to a new generation of creative application developers and technology innovators," David Reed, CableLabs' executive vice president and chief strategy officer, said in a statement. "It's impossible to come away from these presentations without a sense of excitement about where cable and communications technologies are going."
The 2012 CableLabs Summer Conference, which runs from Aug. 5-7, is one of the R&D consortium's twice-yearly members-only conferences covering cable technology trends and strategy.