Motama GmbH

2006-02-26

Future Living: New applications for multimedia networks

NMM-Software for multimedia devices supports arbitrary networks
and various operating systems

An increasing number of multimedia devices, such as TVs, hi-fi systems, digital video recorders, but also mobile phones or devices for in-home communication and control, provide networking interfaces. Due to the numerous available and incompatible technologies, today’s applications are mostly restricted to mere data exchange or only support specific devices or networks. The “Network-Integrated Multimedia Middleware (NMM)” offers a technology that enables the seamless and safe networking of available devices – within the home network and beyond.

The software architecture NMM allows for transparently connecting all devices available within the network and also extends control to the network. This results in completely new “virtual” devices: A mobile phone can be used for viewing a TV show received from the satellite receiver connected to the home network, or a recorded TV show can be presented simultaneously on several TV sets. As ground-breaking new feature, the software operates cross-platform: Arbitrary networking technologies and various operating systems are supported. For example, NMM runs on commodity Windows PCs, mobile phones or Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) running under Windows, but also on different Linux and Unix systems such as set-top boxes for TV reception.

The potential of this software architecture will be demonstrated at future market at CeBIT 2006 by showing a networked multimedia home-entertainment system. Visitors will be able to control all devices of a virtual household while sitting on a sofa in the living-room. In addition, media playback can be handed over spontaneously between devices, for example from a portable MP3 player to a hi-fi system in the living room. By using an UMTS mobile phone or laptop computer, the home network stays fully accessible while being on the road, e.g. to browse media content, but also for controlling a surveillance camera or chat with visitors at the front door.

The NMM software that was previously being developed at the Computer Graphics Lab at Saarland University, Germany, is now brought to market by a spin-off company called Motama. Because of the flexible licensing policy of NMM, the developed software can be used in Open Source and research projects as well as in commercial products.

The NMM architecture and the home-entertainment system will be demonstrated at the future market at CeBIT 2006 in Hannover, Germany, from March 9 to 15 (hall 9, booth A 22). As part of the future talks, Marco Lohse will give a talk on “Multimedia without barriers: Networked, mobile, cross-platform” on March 13, 2006, 12 pm (hall 9, booth A 40).

More information is available online http://www.networkmultimedia.org/ and http://www.motama.com/ ( contact)

[press release]