It’s kwikwai. And in a single sentence, kwikwai augments the capabilities of HDMI CEC, the control channel that lurks into each and every HDMI connection out there.
Similarly to what happened between Blu-ray and HD DVD, a strong leader emerged from the fierce battles between DVI, IEEE 1394 (a.k.a. FireWire), DisplayPort and HDMI. The force was with HDMI, which became the de-facto consumer high-definition digital interconnect.
For audio and video, things are working almost as well today between vendors with HDMI as they did during the golden age of RCA connectors and component connections.
For the CEC control channel however, things are less rosy. For one its support is not mandated by the standard, it’s only optional – so not all HDMI connections are CEC capable.
Second, marketers have seized the concept for each brand benefit. CE manufacturers have extended the standard with proprietary extensions and branded the result with some snappy brand-specific name (BRAVIA Theater, Viera Link, …). The extensions often arbitrarily limit interoperability and the naming obscures the fact some level of compatibility is probable – but strongly denied in the manual.
How we fix the problem
The intention of kwikwai is to provide a device that:
- Allows to read the CEC messages exchanged between the connected AV devices. Now the home automation system can detect the TV is turned on or off and react, maybe by dimming lights.
- Allows to inject messages in the system from the outside, to enable, for example, the home automation system to turn off the TV via the HDMI CEC.
- Long term, fixes some of the incompatibility problems between devices, by enabling, say, to replace a message by another to make the Sony TV understand the Panasonic DVD player.
That’s the idea. It’s a bridge between HDMI CEC and home automation systems. Hence it’s name: movies, bridge, river…
Now, we’re not sure this helps making the world better, but at least it may help improve our living rooms !