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BeIA licenses Audio Formats, Font Formats, etc..

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Ryan on Tuesday, 06 Feb, 2001 @ 1:22 PM
Be Inc

Be Inc. has announced so many agreements in the past weeks that my head has been spinning… to the point that some of them havent made our news page. This is an attempt to fix that. So here is what is new in BeIA-ville… read on.

Well, today, Be announced that they have licensed “Beatnik Technology” which allows designers to “sonify” webpages. It sounds like a mod file format, but i am not entirely sure… it could be a really compressed mp3 format… or something. In anycase, this will either be huge, or vanish into thin air. My favourite thing about this is that it sounds like more of a coup for Beatnik than Be. Can you imagine if being licensed by Be actually allowed OTHER companies to succeed? Such is the power of BeIA. :)

Next up are the older announcements…

Be has licensed TV-out from Focus Enhancements for BeIA. This will allow BeIA devices to be developed which can connect with a standard Television, and display with the clarity needed, despite the tv’s lower resolution. This opens a world of possibilities…. such as webtv devices, tivo-likes, and *cough*game consoles…. (god i love adding fuel to the sony rumors, as insane as they are)

Finally, the Bitstream Deal that Be announced ages ago has finally hit as part of BeIA. So now BeIA can display tons of fonts for just about any language with a small footprint on a tv, with great clarity and tiny music files that sound really good in the background.

Yup… that sounds like a BeIA/OS device to me. :)

The press releases are on the next pages.

MENLO PARK and SAN MATEO, Calif. - Feb. 6, 2001 - Be Incorporated (Nasdaq: BEOS) and Beatnik, Inc., a leader in interactive audio technologies and content for the Web and digital devices, today announced an agreement under which Be will include the Beatni Audio Engine (BA) in its BeIA Client Platform, a component of Be’s complete IA solution.

Using the Beatnik Audio Engine, a BeIA-powered Internet appliance will be able to play Beatnik’s Rich Music Format (RMF) files, which can be used to sonify Web pages or any digital device. This technology makes it possible to create interactive audio environments and games on the Web and in digital devices. RMF files are typically in the range of 10k to 400K while the equivalent MP3 file would be 1MB to 4MB.

“By incorporating the Beatnik Audio Engine into the BeIA Client Platform, we are able to provide consumers with a media-rich Web experience enhanced by RMF files, which are incredibly compact and play back almost instantly when triggered,” said Lamar Potts, vice president, sales and marketing at Be. “This agreement further demonstrates Be’s commitment to meeting the needs and demands of users by offering a responsive, dynamic Web experience. Be is dedicated to truly making BeIA the complete Internet appliance solution.”

“Beatnik is focused on the delivery of high-quality music and sound to the Web, games and digital devices,” said Bahman Dara, vice president of marketing and strategic planning for Beatnik, Inc. “One of the key characteristics that the Beatnik Audio Engine and the BeIA Client Platform share is a small footprint and the ability to run on minimal memory. Together, the two companies will offer an impressive audio experience for users.”

About BeIA: the Complete IA Solution
BeIA consists of three components: the BeIA Client Platform, the BeIA Management and Administration Platform (MAP), and BeIA Integration Services. This integrated package of small footprint client-side software; development, customization and device management tools and services; and key services and third party technology, delivers a complete Internet appliance solution to device and service providers, including consumer electronics companies.

About the Beatnik Audio Engine
The BAE enables users to experience CD-quality audio and music through a variety of digital devices including mobile phones, PDAs and set-top boxes using extremely small file sizes. The BAE requires no special hardware and works as the complete low bandwidth audio solution for digital devices. The BAE can play back popular formats such as MP3, WAV, AIFF and MIDI. The BAE enhances MIDI by adding custom samples to recreate the original sound of the music. This expanded capacity gives composers an unprecedented variety of sounds to use in the creative productions.

About Beatnik
Beatnik brings a scalable, high-quality audio content platform to the Web, games and digital devices through a combination of technology, content and services. Beatnik’s solution includes a line of platform applications, production music, sound content and the Mixman software product line, enabling the integration of interactive audio into the Web and digital world. Beatnik develops, markets and sells its sonification technology to a community of creative professionals, technology licensees and consumers - enabling them to build and interact with music and sound over the Web, on computers and digital devices. Incorporated in 1996, Beatnik was founded by musician and composer Thomas Dolby Robertson. Mixman Technologies, Inc. was acquired by Beatnik in December 1999.

Beatnik and RMF are registered trademarks of Beatnik, Inc.

About Be Incorporated
Founded in 1990, Be Incorporated creates software solutions that enable rich media and Web experiences on Internet appliances and personal computers. Be’s headquarters are in Menlo Park, California, and its European office is in Paris, France. It is publicly traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol BEOS. Be can be found on the Web at http://www.be.com.

Be, BeIA and the Be Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Be Incorporated in the U.S. and other countries. All rights reserved.

Focus’ FS450 Chip technology to run on BeIA, the complete IA solution

CAMPBELL, Calif. and MENLO PARK, Calif. — Jan. 30, 2001 - FOCUS Enhancements, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCSE) and Be Incorporated (Nasdaq: BEOS) today announced an agreement that will enable Internet appliances powered by BeIA, the complete IA solution, to utilize a TV as a display.

Under the agreement, Be will distribute the software driver for the FOCUS FS450 TV-out chip as part of the BeIA Client Platform. By including the chip in a BeIA-powered Internet appliance, a manufacturer can sell the device without a monitor. This solution enables the manufacturer to offer significantly lower priced IAs to consumers, who can simply plug the devices into their existing TVs.

“While there are other TV-out solutions in the market, the FS450 is the first to produce truly high-quality graphics,” said Lamar Potts, vice president, sales and marketing for Be. “Virtually everyone in the U.S. owns a TV, and our work with FOCUS allows manufacturers using the BeIA platform to target consumers who want to use their TV to access the Internet.”

“One of the features that makes an Internet appliance so attractive to the end-user is the low price point over a PC solution,” said Bill Schillhammer, vice president of OEM sales for FOCUS Enhancements. “FOCUS’ FS450 technology is critical to reading the small fonts found browsing the web and when using the wide range of televisions found in homes. The FS450 has features specifically designed to enhance the viewing experience allowing the TV to rival monitors. The BeIA Client Platform provides a low cost IA solution making it possible to hit even lower price points while not compromising functionality.”

About BeIA: The Complete IA Solution
BeIA consists of three components; the BeIA Client Platform, the BeIA Management and Administration Platform (MAP), and BeIA Integration Services. The BeIA Client Platform is a small footprint-operating environment for the device. BeIA MAP allows a service provider to manage the operation and update BeIA Client Platforms with no intervention on the part of the end user, so the device will operate reliably without user intervention. Through the BeIA Integration Services, Be assists device creators in the development and deployment of the devices.

About the FS450
The FS450 chip incorporates a broadcast quality encoder and programmable, flat, artifact-free scaling and an advanced 2D-flicker filter and it is targeted for Internet set-top boxes, Cable/DVD Player set-top boxes, web appliances, and video kiosks. The FS450 supports XGA resolutions up to 1024×768. This allows full page web-browsing on a TV without special formatting requirements.

About Be
Founded in 1990, Be Incorporated creates software solutions that enable rich media and Web experiences on personal computers and Internet appliances. Be’s headquarters are in Menlo Park, Calif., and its European office is in Paris, France. It is publicly traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol BEOS. Be can be found on the Web at http://www.be.com.

About Focus Enhancements, Inc.
FOCUS Enhancements, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCSE) develops and markets advanced, proprietary video conversion ASICs for the converging, multi-billion dollar Internet, computer and television industries. The Company’s technology, which is sold globally through Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and resellers, merges computer-generated graphics and television displays for Internet viewing, presentations, training, education, video teleconferencing, and home gaming markets.
FOCUS Enhancements, (408) 866-8300, 1370 Dell Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008, www.focusinfo.com

Be to integrate world’s smallest, most comprehensive stroke-based Chinese, Japanese, Korean font in the client software platform component of BeIA: The Complete IA Solution

MENLO PARK, Calif. and CAMBRIDGE, Ma.- Jan. 23, 2001 - Be Inc. (Nasdaq: BEOS) and Bitstream Inc. (Nasdaq: BITS) today announced that they have entered into a long-term, global agreement to license Bitstream’s unified, stroke-based CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) font. By integrating this font into the BeIA Client Platform, Be solves a significant problem facing manufacturers of Internet appliances bound for Asian markets by providing complete, high-quality Asian font support without using a large amount of memory.

Be is the first licensee of Bitstream’s unified, stroke-based font. The unified font takes up less than 1MB of memory and uses standard Unicode encoding. It includes over 32,000 Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean characters. The stroke-based fonts take advantage of the power of Bitstream’s Font Fusion, a unified font rendering engine that is a key module of the BeIA Client Platform. Font Fusion is the convergence of Bitstream’s T2K and TrueDoc technology in an advanced, object-oriented architecture.

“Providing Internet appliance developers with complete Asian font support is challenging,” said Lamar Potts, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Be. “Up to this point it has not been possible to incorporate CJK fonts without using a large amount of memory. Internet appliances must run with minimal amounts of memory to reduce the cost of the device, both for manufacturers and consumers. By incorporating Bitstream’s technology into the BeIA Client Platform we meet the memory requirements of IA devices, and the quality and usability requirements of the end-user.”

“Bitstream’s Font Fusion and stroke-based fonts offer the quality, speed, and compactness that are so important in memory-constrained devices, such as Internet appliances,” said Anna Chagnon, president of Bitstream. “We specifically designed our stroke-based fonts to be as compact as possible while still maintaining the quality and readability of these fonts. Our new, unified, stroke-based, CJK font allows companies like Be to use a single font that contains all the CJK Unicode characters-while taking up very little storage space for this purpose.”

Each unified, stroke-based font is tailored for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean applications and environments. In a standard Unicode CJK font, there are frequently Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters in the same Unicode position, and these characters may have subtle or pronounced design differences. For these situations, Bitstream created a unified, stroke-based font that prioritizes which language to use as first choice for characters at each Unicode position.

About Font Fusion
Font Fusion provides developers with full font fidelity and high-quality typographic output at any resolution on any device, while maintaining the integrity of the original character shapes. In addition, Font Fusion performs well in memory-constrained environments. For example, a complete traditional Chinese TrueType font with over 13,500 characters can occupy as much as 8MB. With Font Fusion, the same characters occupy less than 0.5MB, representing considerable savings in memory costs.

Font Fusion is designed for operating systems, software applications, Web applications, low-resolution screen devices, multimedia servers, high-definition television screens (HDTVs), set-top boxes, continuous tone printers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other embedded systems and Internet and wireless appliances.

About BeIA: the Complete IA Solution
BeIA is comprised of the BeIA Client Platform, Integration Services and the BeIA Management and Administration Platform (MAP). This integrated package of small footprint client-side software, development, customization and device management tools and services, and key third party services and technology delivers a complete Internet appliance solution to device and service providers, including consumer electronics companies.

About Bitstream, the Internet Font Technology Company
Bitstream Inc. (Nasdaq:BITS) is the leading developer of font technology, digital fonts, and custom font designs for a wide variety of markets. Setting the standard for excellence in font technology, Bitstream holds numerous key patents that cover the creation of portable fonts for the Internet. Bitstream licenses its award-winning TrueDoc, WebFont, and Font Fusion technologies to Web and application developers, and to manufacturers of Internet appliances, wireless devices, set-top boxes, embedded systems, printers, and personal digital assistants.

Founded in 1981, Bitstream is the first digital font foundry. In 1999, Bitstream created MyFonts.com, Inc. (http://www.myfonts.com), the Web site for finding, trying, and buying fonts on line. Bitstream is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Find out more about Bitstream at http://www.bitstream.com.

About Be
Founded in 1990, Be Incorporated creates software solutions that enable rich media and Web experiences on personal computers and Internet appliances. Be’s headquarters are in Menlo Park, California, and its European office is in Paris, France. It is publicly traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol BEOS. Be can be found on the Web at http://www.be.com.

5 Responses to “BeIA licenses Audio Formats, Font Formats, etc..”

  1. therandthem Says:

    Best Foot Forward

    The discussion of Beatnik and Rich Music Format (.rmf) got off on the wrong foot on another BeOS news site. I just want to say that I’ve played with Beatnik and RMF and it is a really cool system. It seems to combine the best things about MIDI and MOD. If you haven’t tried it out and have access to a Windows or Mac machine, then go to beatnik.com and play around. It is VERY IMPRESSIVE. This is a good thing for BeIA and hoepfully BeOS.
    Also, I believe that Beatnik supplied the technology for BeOS’s current MIDI system. Beatnik is a bit like Be technology wise. This seems like a good partnership.

  2. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To therandthem @ 02/06/2001 1:58:22 PM

    Re: Best Foot Forward

    Sounds cool… for those of us that dont have anything but BeOS on our machine, can you take some time to point out why its so much better?

  3. therandthem Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 02/06/2001 2:25:33 PM

    Description of Beatnik

    It is hard to describe what is technically at work with Beatnik, but I will describe my experience as a user. RMF allows you to create MIDI music, but the quality feels like Beatnik has a software patch system, generates the instruments in software, and then sends it to your sound card as digital audio. That is my impression because the instruments on Beatnik sound great. MIDI straight through windows, on my sound card, sounds bad.
    Another thing that Beatnik does is include digital samples in your .rmf file. For all I can tell you can play those samples in any octave, so effectively you create new instruments on the fly. I don’t know if that is truly the case, but that is what my ears hear.
    Finally Beatnik gives you a scripting interface to control you .rmf files. Added to a web page you can actually turn the page into a musical instrument. You can even allow the page to remix your music based on user actions. Now, with BeIA you could sonify the entire user interface. Not like on windows though, which can only tie .wav files to actions. You can play music that plays more calmly and slowly if you’re active or fast and intense if you’re idle.

  4. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To therandthem @ 02/06/2001 2:40:10 PM

    Re: Description of Beatnik

    Wow!The Midi patch sound upgrade wasnt too intriguing, because you could do that just by adding nicer patch sounds to the midi system.The storing samples in the file wasnt too interesting, because .mod’s do that also.The scripting interface though… thats cool. I can suddenly see huge potential for this beyond basic web music… considering the BeIA interface *IS* a web page./me suddenly get’s excited, and hopes this means RMF format support is gonna show up in beos. :)

  5. DrB Says:

    In Response To therandthem @ 02/06/2001 1:58:22 PM

    Re: Best Foot Forward

    If this is the same beatnik that I am thinking of, they developed plugins for netscape navigator for a while© It was a streaming music plugin for Midi and other audio formats© It was practically a standard plugin for navigator 4©

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