History

Hillcrest Labs, Inc. was founded in 2001 by Dan Simpkins with a vision of creating what is now known as Smart TV. Realizing that volume and sources of content were increasing to the point that users were struggling to navigate all that was available to them, Hillcrest set out to develop a new user interface (UI) which would empower the consumer to browse, select and consume more content more enjoyably. This was accomplished through the groundbreaking ‘HoME’ TV UI. In the development of this interface, which united TV, DVR, online content, games and more, it quickly became apparent that existing remote controls would not be sufficient to navigate this content.

Hillcrest set out to solve the problem and identify the best way to control this system, developing the multi-award winning Loop remote control as the ideal solution. Using MEMS inertial motion sensors to track intuitive user motions, Hillcrest translated them into precise on-screen cursor control, allowing familiar mouse-like functionality from a wireless remote control. While this led to the development of extensive and proprietary methods for sensor characterization, sensor qualification and sensor fusion, this revolutionary technology was inspired by, and grounded in, improving the user experience. This user-centric focus has shaped Hillcrest’s development to this day, producing dozens of products, custom solutions and successful engagements with some of the world’s leading consumer electronics companies. Today, tens of millions of units featuring Hillcrest’s technology are in consumers’ hands, living rooms and offices around the world.

While Hillcrest has grown into the undisputed leader in motion processing solutions for Smart TV, Hillcrest’s deep expertise in all aspects of motion processing has led companies across the spectrum to seek guidance, advice and solutions from Hillcrest’s team. Hillcrest has since expanded its product line to serve the diverse needs of sensor-enabled applications in the Consumer Electronics and IoT segments. Hillcrest’s technology is found in products and applications including smart TVs, set-top boxes, virtual reality headsets and controllers, augmented reality glasses, autonomous robots, gaming systems, PC peripherals, remote controls, smartphones, smartwatches, and more. Today, Hillcrest is universally recognized as a global leader in sensor processing.

Based in Rockville, Maryland, the company is funded by NEA, AllianceBernstein, Columbia Capital, and Grotech Ventures.