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EBIF goes airborne with FourthWall's AirCommand

Monday, February 28, 2011
Mike Robuck

Today, FourthWall Media took the wraps off of a new set of cloud-based services that ties mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, to EBIF-enabled set-top boxes.

FourthWall's AirCommand was designed to help MSOs create and deliver new integrated, cross-platform services for their subscribers . Some of the possible applications include remote DVR programming; the ability to view and play on-demand content; social media and messaging applications between mobile devices and set-top boxes; and cross-platform widgets, merchandising and commerce.

AirCommand is also able to support and provision the various services and applications without an over-the-top device or an Internet connection.

"Mobile devices open up a new frontier of innovative services, and the manner in which they are connected to cable set-top boxes will dictate how quickly operators can harness this new product category and associated new revenue," said Tim Peters, FourthWall's CEO. "The significance of AirCommand is that it delivers common services, eliminating the need for custom development and integration for every mobile application and allowing operators to better scale the business. And because it's an EBIF solution, it's deployable today."

AirCommand services are available to all EBIF-enabled set-top boxes and are being demonstrated this week at a cable industry event on Motorola and Cisco boxes. Tablets, smartphones, computers and other set-top boxes communicate with AirCommand through standard Web services.

"We believe AirCommand is a game-changer in this era of iTV and device proliferation," said Ellen Dudar, FourthWall's chief product officer.

FourthWall Media products and technology are distributed through partnerships with Comcast Media Center, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Rovi, Dish Network and several other MSOs and have been deployed in more than 24 million set-top boxes.

Comcast has deployed EBIF in roughly 14 million homes, while Time Warner Cable has it in about 5 million homes. Canoe Ventures is also a big proponent of EBIF and has worked with CableLabs on updating the EBIF (Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format) specification.