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August 14, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:58pm

ACORN ADDS VIDEOCONFERENCING TO SET-TOP BOX

By CBR Staff Writer

Acorn Computers Plc has announced that it is developing its low cost STB22 set-top box as a video-telephony/conferencing console in a project with the Japanese telecommunications company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone. That could turn out to be technology junkie’s dream of a TV, with video-telephony and web browsing capabilities built in. This is Acorn’s first foray into this market and it has been developing the videoconferencing software for eighteen months to run under its proprietary set-top operating system RISC OS. The aim is to integrate the set-top boxes into TVs, along with a video camera, and the system will cost around $200 more than a standard TV. Initially, marketing will be targeted at the corporate videoconferencing market but Acorn anticipates economies of scale driving the price down to around $20-30 extra on the price of a TV, making it suitable for consumer markets. Cambridge, UK-based Acorn hopes that the product will be released commercially in less than six months. It has retained the software rights and plans to modify the technology for use by other companies.

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