R&D funds designed to bring Encore to commercialization stage

R&D funds designed to bring Encore to commercialization stage

By Nicole Visschedyk – Telegraph Journal | link to original article

SAINT JOHN – A local software development company will use a $247,000 injection from the federal government to develop products for the telecommunications industry.

Derek Billingsley, vice-president of business development with Encore Interactive Inc., said people are drowning in their digital life and Encore products can streamline their information.

« Our products allow users to access their digital lives on a variety devices, » he said.

He was reluctant to give product details saying they are at a sensitive stage of development for their two software packages. But he would talk about the company's area of expertise, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services.

Across Canada IPTV is increasingly popular. The service allows consumers to record a program and watch it at a later time or pause it midstream.

According to a report by ABI Research, an international technology market research group, IPTV is expected to grow by more than 32 per cent annually over the next five years to more than 79 million users worldwide. While growth rates for traditional pay-as-you-go cable and satellite are expected to decline.

Encore's product line would further enhance the service by consolidating telecommunications information easily for the buyer, he said. Users would be able to watch, record and share movies, photos, music or television on everything from phones to their computers or televisions.

The Encore software would be marketed to telecom companies that service the consumer market.

Billingsley said they have worked in the past with Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) and the company is currently in talks with other large telecommunications providers.

John Swan, executive chairman, said he expects to soon see signs in consumers home entertainment systems that say ?Powered by Encore.'

The research and development funds from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency are designed to help bring the software to the commercialization stage, he said.

With a strong IT sector and close ties with Bell Aliant, Saint John has the ability to bring teams together and make thing happen, Swan said.

The company currently holds more than 20 patents and is in the process of finalizing an additional two, he said.

The history of IPTV and Encore itself has it's roots in the now defunct Saint John company, iMagicTV, which was one of the first in the world to offer software for the service.

Encore launched in 2007 and recently received funding from the New Brunswick Innovation Fund.

Rodney Weston, member of parliament for Saint John, said « it is truly impressive and very exciting to see this company move forward in the global market place. »

The telecommunication industry is heavily dependant on software and Encore is positioned to service the sectors ever-changing needs, he said.

« It's all about good science, smart business and a great investment in the future of Atlantic Canada, » Weston told the crowd Wednesday.

Weston called Encore one of Saint John's hidden gems adding that this type of innovation will drive and diversify the economy.

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