NetPORT by Lifestyle Interactive Technologies

Console Name: NetPORT
Release Date: Unreleased
Original Price: $149 US
Country of Origin: United States of America
Developer: Lifestyle Interactive Technologies
Staff(s):
Peter Newman, President and CEO
Ed Foster Pleickhardt, Director of Operations and Business Development
Sandra Vargas
Predecessor: XaviXPORT
 

History
The story of the NetPORT starts with the release of the XaviXPORT, a console released in 2004 by SSD COMPANY LIMITED. SSD, which was formed by former Nintendo’s engineers, knew the Japanese video game market well, but needed help with the international release of the XaviXPORT. As such, they reached out to NS Strategic Ventures, a Global Business to Business company. Peter Newman, which was a Managing Partner for the U.S. Division of NS Strategic Ventures, was brought in in the XaviX team as the General Manager of the U.S. Branch Office.

As part of his role as a GM, Peter had to management of all U.S. operations, including the customer service and the logistics for Retail and eCommerce sales. While the XaviXPORT was very innovative piece of technology, it wasn’t long before another console came along to foil its plan. Release on November 19, 2006, the Nintendo Wii took the world by surprise. With its motion sensing wireless controller, the Wii quickly become the most popular console of its time. With such a competition, the team behind the XaviXPORT had to find new strategies to appeal to the market.

While it was clear that the XaviXPORT couldn’t directly compete with the Wii in the home console market, Peter understood that the console was still superior when it came to accurately simulate sports, making it the superior options for amateur and professional. With that in mind, the U.S. XaviX team developed their own new market segment building business with over 20,000 K-12 Schools, YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, Senior Living Locations, and Community Centers. They also created the Jackie Chan XaviX Fitness School Dash program that involved 55 middle schools in 9 cities, and over 11,500 students.

By 2008, it became clear to Peter that all of the strategic partnership he had developed to promote the XaviXPORT had immense value and that he could use these connections to develop technologies for this market. As such, he created Lifestyle Interactive Technologies (LIT), with a mission to develop interactive technologies for Schools, Senior Homes, YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, and other institutions.

At first, LIT was solely built around XaviX, selling the XaviXPORT thought their website, developing a novel concept such as a Gym based on the Xavix technologies, etc. But over the many years spent developing the connection with the community, Peter learned to understand their need.  While the XaviXPORT was the superior option compared to the Wii when it came to sports training, the Wii still had one advantage: the Wiimote. The XaviXPORT used different controllers for each sports which made the training more realistic, but it was also more cumbersome. Peter had envisioned an updated version of the XaviX technologies that would appeal to his market segment while incorporating the latest trend such video chat, media player, etc.

By 2012, Peter was ready to bring it’s idea to the market and in April 2012, the Lifestyle Interactive Technologies was officially launched with the release of its website. The company was offering consulting, development, and creative services to companies around the world, showcasing their experience in several industries including consumer electronics, gaming, mobile devices, system interfaces, and lifestyle products. In August 2002, LIT started working on their first product : the NetPORT.

Features
The NetPORT was at its core a new package of all of the XaviX technologies into one controller. It could be used as a regular optical mouse, a pointer (like the WiiMote), a regular controller, a motion controller and even had a camera for gesture detection. Being built around Android was another big feature of the NetPORT as it would instantly transform your TV into as Smart TV.  This would allow the NetPORT to be used for Web Browsing, as a Media Player, but also as a Video Chat device and basically all the applications Android had to offers. The NetPORT also offered USB ports, allowing it to connect to any Android compatible USB devices such as Portable Hard Drives, Keyboards, Webcams, etc. But t

But NetPORT wasn’t just a new device that licenses the XaviX technologies. It was also fully compatible with the XaviXPORT controllers (except for the ones that use Radio Frequency as a connection method).  Overall, the NetPORT was supposed to feature:

  • 1 Mini-HDMI TV Output
  • 2 Mini-USB Ports
  • 1 Ethernet Port
  • Audio Output Jack
  • 1 Power Adaptor Input
  • SD Card slot
  • Infrared Sensor
  • Bluetooth

And the Wireless Controller:

  • D-Pad / 4-button controller
  • Camera for Motion Control & Optical Reading
  • Optical Mouse
  • Acceleration Sensor
  • Gyro Sensor

Another feature was an Open SDK for the developers and enthusiasts to develop new apps or adapt existing ones to work with the NetPORT controller in more unique ways.

Crowdfunding
On November 15th, 2002, LIT launched the NetPORT on Indiegogo with a goal of $825,000 USD. This was the rough estimate to produce 5,000 NetPORT. While this might sound like a lot for a newcomer in the video game market, the Ouya, one of the first Android-based video game consoles, who was launched in July 2012, was an overnight success and raised $8.5 million.

Aggressive milestones were set to release the NetPORT within a year:

  • March 15th, 2013 – Working versions of the NetPORT and Controller Completed
  • March 30th, 2013 – Software Development Kits Available
  • June 15th, 2013 – Finalize Design and Start Mass Production
  • July 15th, 2013 – Ship Out from China
  • August 15th, 2013 – 1st USA Sales/Shipments

 

Demise
Sadly, the crowdfunding failed to generate the buzz they were hoping to as the press was still ecstatic about the Ouya. With almost no money pledge after a few days, the NetPORT campaign was closed. The Indiegogo campaign had failed to generate any real source of revenue to support the development of the console and while LIT had planned to continue the development even if the Indiegogo campaign did not reach the desired goal, there was just not enough support from the community to continue with the project. So while the NetPORT was a great idea for the time, LIT had to move on to other projects.

 

Video
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