Monday, 13 April 2009

Filipino Tech Team Unveils “Intelligent TV”

inovent_ilumina

A new Filipino tech company unveiled the prototype of an LCD interactive television (iTV) set, claiming to be the first of its kind to be produced in the Philippines.

Dubbed “Ilumina”, the LCD iTV was described by its creators as “a television set with the brain of a personal computer.”

The Ilumina contains a flat-screen LCD display, a hard drive and a multimedia center that allows owners to see movies, listen to music, watch and record TV shows, and even surf the web.

Its creator Inovent Inc revealed that the Ilumina was produced from easily available electronic parts to prove a point. “We want to show that the Filipinos can do it, that we stand a chance in the electronic industry and we can even excel in it,” said Inovent Inc. Chief Inoventor Brian Quebengco. “To our knowledge, this has never been done before in the Philippines. The team is actually making history.”

Ilumina is being positioned as a showcase of Filipino ingenuity particularly on engineering and design. It signals the changing habits of younger generations who grew up on the iPod, MP3s, and TV-show and movie downloads. In April of this year, iTunes took the title of top music store, besting even top-selling offline stores like Best Buy and Walmart.

“Ilumina is at the crux of a major change in our lifestyles. With Ilumina, you can play music and watch movies from Ilumina itself. No more need for separate players. It will provide that convenience to everyone,” added Mark Ruiz, Chief Marketing Inoventor.

To provide the intelligence for Ilumina, Quebengco and Ruiz tapped Dig It All Solutions, a software development company specializing on open source software. Val Gonzales, Dig It All Solutions CEO, said “We had a very tight schedule. Creating software from scratch would have been a disaster. Open source software allowed us to build an interface for Ilumina very quickly.”

Quebengco also pointed out the benefit of harnessing the creative power of a multi-disciplinary, inter-school team. “Ilumina demonstrates the power of creative collaboration. Our team members are from LaSalle, Ateneo and UP. Our normal stereotype is that these schools compete against each other, but we can also put our minds together and create something beautiful, something we can all be proud of.”

Quebengco attributed the success of the prototype to the effort and dedication of the Ilumina team. To keep expenses to a minimum, the Ilumina team took a cue from the garage startups of Silicon Valley. Working in garages to keep expenses low and rendering work at minimal or no costs.

“We simply copied the Silicon Valley way and added a modern day convenience — virtual meetings through chat and a web bulletin board. All of us have day jobs but were willing to work extra hours to complete the prototype. Some of us have not slept for more than three days,” Gonzales said.

InoventDesign has promised future upgrades both in the hardware and software of Ilumina.

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