You may best recall Hillcrest Labs and its Kylo television web browser for its running battle to provide users a way to bring Hulu to their TV screen in the early days when Hulu definitely didn't want to go to the big screen, at least not for free.
Ah, how things have changed over the course of, oh, six months. Now, Hulu's grown up into Hulu Plus (which is still in beta and available by invitation only) and Kylo, it appears, has moved onto bigger and better things.
The latest news from Hillcrest Labs is a new release of Kylo, including a sweet instant visual search feature that brings up thumbnails of images as users enter search terms, enabled by a new integration with Clicker.tv; a new interface and bookmark management and tighter integration of Windows Media Center.
The free, downloadable browser, is designed for use on a TV set with more on-screen viewing space, larger fonts and buttons for easy navigation, an onscreen keyboard, and zoom-and-pan capability for enhanced viewing.
One of the most obvious changes to the browser is a move toward a cleaner, simpler look that makes it easy to navigate and to learn to use. While Kylo works fine with any mouse, it's designed for use with its Loop Pointer, currently priced at $69, a $30 drop from its regular price.
Hillcrest has formed a brilliant relationship with Clicker.tv, giving users the ability to start typing in search terms and begin immediately seeing thumbnails of results. Users can set Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search engines as their default.
Among the other improvements in the browser:
- Kylo can auto detect whether a user is in the U.S. or the U.K. and deliver appropriate content;
- The browser can be launched from Windows Media Center;
- Bookmark management has been improved, making it easier to manage and customize visual directories;
- The Kylo directory has been updated with a variety of new and increasingly popular sites and contains links to dozens of sites across a range of topics including a co-branded Clicker.tv Internet television programming guide, specifically revised for the Kylo user.
Companies that have licensed Hillcrest Labs' technology for use in their products include: Eastman Kodak, LG, Logitech, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Universal Electronics, and others.
- see this release
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