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Electronic Design

Vista SideShow Media Center Remote Control Utilizes Bluetooth Technology

Ricavision International, recently announced the launch of the Ricavision Microsoft Windows Vista SideShow Media Center Remote Control (see the Figure), 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-in. 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.

Ricavision Vista SideShow Remote Control package also comes with an external USB RC6 receiver and a Class 1 Bluetooth receiver. It turns the Vista PC into a Bluetooth computer capable of receiving data from any other Bluetooth device within a 100-meter range.

The Ricavision Vista SideShow Remote Control provides a set of four Gadgets that will be an extension of the Media Center for Windows Vista: TV, Music, Pictures and Videos, and Now Playing. Ricavision SideShow Remote's Gadgets 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 or an LCD display panel. The remote 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 provides a range of different kinds of information that can be accessed by users on a remote control device. The remote control device will also have access to any other Gadgets that have been enabled for this device through the SideShow Control Panel.

On the top-level menu, the options are laid out in a way similar to the options in the Media Center UI. The user navigates up and down among category headings (Gadgets). The menu will be "center locked," so that the selected category is always in the center of the screen, with the menu scrolling up or down as the user changes selection.

Ricavision's product line currently consists of two groups: Microsoft Vista SideShow products and Microsoft certified Windows Vista Remote Control RC6 receivers. Ricavision provides both Basic and Enhanced SideShow products for all custom applications, such as SideShow remote controls, SideShow keyboard, SideShow LCD monitors, SideShow HTPC, and SideShow notebooks.

The Ricavision Vista SideShow Remote Control and Receiver Kit feature an MSRP of $199 and will be available in April of 2007. Ricavision will be exhibiting at 2007's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, at both Sands Hall booth #70406 and the Microsoft Windows Vista booth, Central Plaza CP9. For more information, visit

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