Hillcrest Labs Releases New Version of Kylo, the Web Browser for TV
Latest Version Includes New Features for Enhanced Web Browsing on the TV Screen
Rockville, MD(26 May 2010)
Hillcrest Labs today unveiled the latest version of the Kylo browser, the free Web browser for TV, which the company introduced earlier this year. Developed for the millions of households that connect their PCs or Macs to the TV, Kylo lets users visit sites across the Web with a browser that was specifically designed to be viewed from a distance in the family room, living room, or dorm room. In addition, Hillcrest Labs announced that its award-winning companion product, the Loop pointer, is available at half price, just $49, from now through June 11 in celebration of the new Kylo release and in advance of Father's Day.
The latest version of the Kylo browser (Kylo Beta 0.7) is available at www.kylo.tv and includes a variety of new product features that enable users to launch Kylo from a plug-in created for Windows Media Center; hide Kylo's control bar and keyboard; configure Kylo's settings in order to access Web site pages designed for other hardware platforms; enjoy enhanced zooming; print from their TV; and more.
The Kylo browser is not meant to replace traditional browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox for use with standard computer display screens, but instead is for use on a television connected to a computer. Unlike other applications or Web sites, Kylo is not a "walled garden" of aggregated video content, but rather a true Web browser that lets users go where they want across the Internet. According to Deloitte's, "State of the Media Democracy Survey Fourth Edition," December 2009, the firm found that 65% of US Internet users would like to connect their televisions to the Internet, a figure that jumped to 74% among Millennials (ages 14-26).
"We have been very pleased with the initial consumer response to Kylo and the pent up demand for an open Web experience on TV," said Dan Simpkins, founder and CEO of Hillcrest Labs. "Since launch, we have been soliciting the feedback of users to make the Kylo experience even better, and we think people will welcome the new product features. We have placed more control in the hands of consumers so they can use Kylo to access the sites that have the content they want."
Simpkins continued, "We know that one feature that is likely to attract attention is the capability for advanced users to configure the Kylo browser to access Hulu. It remains our position that Kylo is simply a Web browser based on open-source Mozilla code, like Firefox. We fully respect the rights of content owners and aggregators, and as such, we do not deep link, re-index, divert users past ads, or overlay different user interfaces on video players. However, we believe consumers should be able to use the Kylo browser to visit any site on the Web on the display screen of their choice. Our hope is that a respectful dialog with Hulu will encourage them to consider changing their policies."
New Features of the Kylo Browser Beta 0.7 include:
- Windows Media Center launcher - A new Kylo plug-in is now available for Windows Media Center. This feature enables people who use Windows Media Center on their computer connected to their HDTV to launch Kylo and then easily return to other Windows Media Center applications after surfing the Web.
- Auto-hide control bar - Users can now select an auto-hide feature for the Kylo control bar. For video sites that do not offer full screen mode, this gives users the maximum viewing space possible. The Kylo control bar conveniently reappears when the cursor is directed at the bottom of the screen with a mouse or Loop pointer.
- Domain-specific user agent string setting - Advanced users can now change the user agent string used by Kylo using the application's new settings. This feature, used in other conventional browsers, can improve compatibility with some Web sites like Hulu, and can enable Kylo users to view sites that are designed for other platforms like the Apple® iPad, Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation.
- Better zoom indication - The new Kylo makes it easier to discover and use Kylo's zoom capabilities for reading Web pages at a distance across the living room.
- Default zoom level setting - This new setting allows the user to set a minimum zoom setting for all Web pages, which is particularly useful for Kylo users with 1080 HD resolution settings.
- Enable/disable auto keyboard - In its default setting, Kylo automatically presents its on-screen keyboard to enter text on Web sites as appropriate. With the new version of Kylo, users who typically have a keyboard handy can select this setting to keep the on-screen keyboard hidden.
- Multiscreen support on Mac - Mac users can now target their secondary screen as the main browser screen for the Kylo browser. This capability previously existed for PC users only.
- Printing - With many home computers now linked via WiFi or Ethernet to a networked printer, Kylo users can conveniently print from their TV browser.
- Updated directory of links - The Kylo directory, which serves as a fast index to top sites, has been updated with a variety of new and increasingly popular sites, like RadioTime and several photo sites, to further expand the experience of Web surfing in the living room. The directory contains links to dozens of sites across a range of topics including: TV, movies, music, sports, games, and more. Users can also continue to use Kylo's bookmark feature to set up their own personal, visual directory of their favorite sites.
The Kylo browser for TV works with any mouse, but is ideal for use with Hillcrest's Loop pointer, the award-winning, in-air mouse that is powered by Hillcrest's Freespace® in-air pointing and motion-control technology. For a limited time, the Loop pointer is available for just $49 via www.hillcrestlabs.com/loop or www.amazon.com. The Kylo browser is available for free via download at www.kylo.tv. Additional details about Hillcrest Labs are available at www.hillcrestlabs.com.
About Hillcrest Labs
Hillcrest Laboratories (a.k.a. Hillcrest Labs) sells products to consumer electronics manufacturers, service providers, and consumers that enable unique, interactive digital media experiences for TVs and other digital media devices. Hillcrest Labs sells and licenses its pointing technology, called Freespace®, for use in a wide range of consumer devices including remote controls, PC mice, and game controllers. Companies that have licensed Hillcrest Labs' technology for use in their products include: Eastman Kodak, Logitech, Universal Electronics (UEI), and ZillionTV. For consumers, Hillcrest Labs sells the Loop pointer, an in-air mouse for TV that lets users control an onscreen cursor with a flick of the wrist and navigate the Web or their home media content on TV. Hillcrest Labs also offers the Kylo browser, a free Web browser for TV.
Hillcrest Labs has received numerous awards and recognitions including the CES Innovations Award, PC World's 100 Best Products and Greatest Tech Designs, Popular Mechanics' Editors Choice, ECN's Reader's Choice Tech, and many others. Based in Rockville, Maryland, Hillcrest Labs was founded in 2001 by Dan Simpkins. The company is funded by NEA, AllianceBernstein, Columbia Capital, and Grotech Ventures. For additional information, visit www.hillcrestlabs.com.