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Section 2. CD-i Applications
2.1 In what areas was CD-i used?
When CD-i was being designed in the mid 80s, it was supposed to function both as a consumer device, being sold as an addition to the family's entertainment centre (in a way similar to a VCR), as well as being used for professional applications. Initially, Philips and Sony expected CD-i to become the next "big thing" in consumer electronics, on which all future consumer electronic developments would (partially) be based.
Unfortunately, CD-i never took off that way in the consumer electronics market, leaving the system with a few 100,000s of units sold in America, a few 100,000s in Asia and about half a million in Europe. In the professional field however, CD-i became relatively popular. It quickly emerged as the de-facto standard for easy-to use, TV-based interactive programs. CD-i was being used by hundreds of companies for a wide variety of purposes. This proves that the system was very future-proof, since its hardware specification never substantially changed in the decade in which it was used.
2.2 How was CD-i used as a consumer device?
CD-i was positioned as a multi-purpose device, unlike for example game consoles which had only one major function. It was this versatility that made CD-i unique, but it was this same versatility that made CD-i very hard to explain and hence sell to consumers.
When asked to explain what CD-i could do back then, the reply could be: "The CD-i player is used by the children in the morning to help them with their homework, some time later they play an exciting game on the device. In the afternoon, you plan your next holiday on your CD-i using some encyclopedias or travel guides. During dinner, the CD-i will function as an audio player providing background music. Grandma pays a visit, an excellent time to show your latest holiday pictures from a Photo-CD. And in the evening, you will all watch the latest blockbuster movie on Video-CD." This story used to indicate the true versatile ways in which CD-i could be used.
CD-i consumer titles were, among others, available in the following areas:
Several hundreds of consumer CD-i titles were available during CD-i's consumer years. See our ICDIA CD-i Software Archive for an overview of titles that we have archived.
2.2.1 Who made consumer CD-i titles?
Most consumer CD-i titles were distributed by Philips. In 1986, Philips and (back then Philips affiliate) PolyGram established AIM (American Interactive Media), a joint venture which had the mission to support the launch of CD-i on the American consumer market with a full library of titles. Just before the launch of CD-i onto the American consumer market in 1991, PolyGram resigned from AIM and the name was changed in PIMA (Philips Interactive Media of America). Since the inital batch of titles were already pressed, even though these titles indicate PIMA on the cover of the box, the actual discs start up with an AIM intro animation.
Philips Interactive Media, later called Philips Media, sold titles that were produced both by internal software studios, as well as third-party software manufacturers, and in this way they handled the promotion, marketing and distribution for them.
The Philips studios each were specialized in their own area. There was for example the Philips Sidewalk Studios, which produced excellent children's titles, Philips POV Entertainment Group, which developed the first games with real actors (Voyeur) and Philips Freeland Studios, which developed titles that took CD-i's technology to the edges, such as Create your own Caricature, The 7th Guest and Face Kitchen.
Among the studios that produced software for CD-i were Infogrames, SPC Vision (The Vision Factory), Lost Boys, Valkieser, NOB, Codim, CapDisc, Fathom Pictures, Spinnaker Software, Microids, Mirage, PIMC, Epic Interactive Media, Radarsoft, US Gold, AVM, Gremlin Graphics, Coktel Vision, Argonaut, Codemasters and lots of others.
A lot of publishers, TV companies and game developers licensed their characters and other material to Philips or its software partners to turn them into a CD-i title. Among them were Nintendo, Paramount Pictures, Milton Bradley (MB), MGM, Bertelsmann, Oxford University Press, Compton's New Media, EMI, NBC, Hanna-Barbera, Virgin Interactive Entertainment, BBC, Manga Entertainment, Namco, Standaard Uitgeverij Antwerpen, Hachette, Playboy Enterprises, Richard Scarry, Motown Records, Don Bluth, Warner Bros., Time-Life, Smithsonian Institution, Vivid Video, American Laser Games, Ravensburger, Psygnosis and many others.
2.3 How was CD-i used in professional areas?
The biggest success for CD-i was in professional applications. CD-i was used in a wide variety of corporate and institutional environments, in such areas as:
Point-of-information applications used a CD-i player in some kiosk-like setup, enabling users to view information using for example a touchscreen. This allowed them for example to view all variations of a particular car model in showroom, or to find their way in a museum. CD-i is an excellent medium for these kind of applications, because of its low cost, its easy to use interface and its high quality, TV-like video images.
CD-i was extensively used in training environments. CD-i allowed company work force to train themselves in a particular field, using their own speed, selecting their own areas of interest, while being given feedback by the system. CD-i had the main advantage of the lack of complicated installation procedures or compatibility issues usually found on PC-based setups.
CD-i was also widely used in schools. Primary and secondary schools and universities used the system for a variety of purposes, ranging from training infants to train their eye-hand coordination skills up to teaching students about the arts of the Renaissance.
Thousands of professional CD-i titles have been created over the years. See our ICDIA CD-i Software Archive for an overview of titles that we have archived.
2.3.1 Which companies used CD-i?
Since CD-i is an open platform, not all uses of the system have to be reported to a single body such as Philips, therefore there is no definitive list of all CD-i titles. It is known that CD-i was used by hundreds of companies all over the world in dozens of areas. Among them are the following companies:
A&P / Hermans Groep, Abbots Labs, ABN Amro Bank, Absolut, ACOG, Adidas, Advertising Display Company, AFT-IFTIM, Agfa Gevaert, Air Plus, Alabastine, Albert Heijn, Alcon, Alied Van Lines, Allianz, Alpine, American Express, American Greating, Ameritech, AMPED, Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam Automobile Exhibition, msterdam Police, Amsterdam Stock Exchange, AASHTO, American Greetings, Ameritech, ANRA, ANWB, AOK, APAC, Aquamris Hotel Rügen, Arai Helmets, Armstrong Flooring, ASC, ASICS, ATAG, Auto Rai, AT&T Wireless Services, Aviodome, AVM Dialog AB, Aylesford News print B B.A.T. GmbH, B.F. Goodrich, Backs Electronic Publishing Ltd, Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Ballast Nedam, Banyu, Barclays, Barton Creek School, BASF, Battenfeld Spritzgieß Technik, Baume & Mercier, Bayer, Bayerische Landtag, Baylor College of Medicine, Baxter, BBC, Bell Atlantic (electronic Yellow Pages), Bell Atlantic (InfoTravel), Bénéteau, Bertelsmann AG, Best Buy, Better Health Network, BEWAG, Beursdata B.V., Beyschleg GmbH, B.F. Goodrich, B.H.V., Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Bicycle Rai, Big Hand Productions, Bildzeitung, Bionova Teichbau, Blum, BMW, BOCO, Boehringer Ingelheim, Böhler Uddeholm, Bose Lifestyle Systems, Brantano, Bristol Meyers Squib, British Petroleum, British School Motoring, British Sky Broadcasting, B.S.L. Publishers, Burger King, C Cadbury beverages, Cadillac, Calcografia Nacional, Madrid, Caltex Petroleum, Canon & Shea Associates Inc., Canton, Carphone Warehouse, Carrier Corp., Carter Retail Technologies, CBR, CD-Interior, Cellular One, Chanel, Chargeurs, Chauvin, Chicago Transit Authority, Chronopost, Chrysler, Churchill Livingstone, Ciba Gigy, Circon Nova B.V., Citroen, City of Nijmegen, Clarins, Classic Worldwide Productions, Cleveland Lumberjacks, CNA, CNN, Coca Cola Finland, Codim, Cognac Otard, Comercial press (HK) Ltd., Commerzbank, Compumed, Congress Innsbruck, Continental Can, Codes Rouseau, Corning, Corporate Market Stratagies, Coulter Electronics, Course Care & De Geldergroep, CSX Railroad, CTE D Dähne Design, Daka KG, Dane Investment, Dantuma, De Dietrich, De Hullu, Degener, Dental Video Verlag, Department of Justice (Netherlands), Detlev Louis GmbH, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Messe, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Museum München, Deventer Tourist Office, DG-Verlag, Diamon Publishing Multimedia, Disney World, DocData, Dodge, Doka, Dorinth Hotelgesellschaft, Dr. Oetker, Dresdner Bauspar AG, Dubois Ceramics, Dulux, Dun & Bradstreet Software, Dupont, Dutch Hospital, Association, Dutch Libraries E Eaton Corporation, ECMI, Ecolauto, EDF/GDF, Ediser, Edutech, Eheim, Eichbaum-Brauereien AG, EKZ, Elsevier, EMG Ltd., ENJO, Ericsson, Euro Disney, European Traffic Tuition, Evoluon, Exectrain, Explainer Interactive BV, Exxon, Eybl Dumont, Federal Highway Administration, First Bank of Boston, Fischer Schi, Fischer Tennis, Flaga Gas, Flammarion, Flughafen Wien, Forbes, Ford, Freemans, Free Record Shop, Free University, Future Media Systems, Futuroscope, Futuremedia PLC, GAK, GAP Consulting, General Motors, Georgia Pacific, Gewerkschaft der Gemeindebediensteten (Austria), GGK, Glaxco, Goldstar, Goodyear, Gran Dorado, Greiner, Groninger Museum, Grundig, Gullet Touristik, Gulliver Ritchie Assocs., Inc, Hachette, C.Hafner GmbH, Hall of Fame - WI, Halm, Hans Anders, Hans Schwarzkopf GmbH, Harley Davidson, Haskoning, HEAD, Henkel, Heras Hekwerk, Hij/Zij Mode, Hödlmayr Spedition, Hoechst, Homestead, Hooge Huys Insurances, Houde, Hubert EBNER Verkehrsmittel Ges.m.b.H, ICI, IDV, Imperial Chemical Industries, Infodent, ING Bank, Inmedia Inc, Innothera, Intermarché, Ipsen, Jaguar (Netherlands), Janssen-Cilag, Janssen Pharma, J.C. Penny, Johnson & Johnson, Junkers, JVC, Kaindl Laminatboden, Kaiser Friedrich GmbH, Kantonspolizei Schaffhausen, Ken Cook Education Systems, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Kerastase, KIA, Kiddies' Kiosk, Kimberly Clark, Koch International, Komatsu, KPN, Krys, Kunsthistorisches Museum (Austria), Kvaerner, La Redoute, Lab-CDI, Lancaster Group World Wide, Lancâme, Laroche-Posay, Lease Concept / ABN Amro Bank, Lee Jeans, Lengers Yachting, LEO Laboratories, Levi Strauss, Liebherr, Life Learn, Lights of Vienna, Lipha Sante, Lithonia Lighting, Locatel, Lockheed Aeronautical, LOI, L'Oréal, Lotto, Lowe's Warehouses, L.G. Electronics, 3M, MacPherson-Meistergram, Majorica S.A, Manatees, mannaSpace, Mannesmann Transmodal, Marine Nationale (France), Marriot, Martell, Maryland Lotterie, Maynard & Associates, Masco, Masterdoc, Matsushita, Mazda, McDonald's, McDonnell Douglas, McGill Multimedia, MCI, Med. I.A. Inc., Media Art, Media Design Group, Meistergramm, Melitta, Melrose, Mercedes Benz, Merck Sharpe & Dohme / Merck Pharmaceutical, Miles Laboratories, Ministery of Int. Affairs (Netherlands), Ministery of Public Work (Netherlands), Mobalpa, Mont Blanc, Mood Media, Moore Int., Mother Network (mannaSpace), Motel 6, Motorola, ,MSD, Merck Sharpe & Dornê, Muffin Head Productions, Multi-Media Corporation, Multimedia International, Museum Amparo, Museum of London, Muzak DMI, 11er Nahrungsmittel National Cancer Institute, National Safety Council (UK), Nationale Nederlanden, Naturkundemuseum Stuttgart, Naturschutzzentrum Bad Wurzbach, Nestles, Netherlands Antilles Police Force, Netherlands Film Festival, Nethold, New Media Systems, Nieuwe Revue, Nikon, NIMA, Nine West Group, Nissan, NÖ Landesausstellung, NOB Interactive, Nordsjö Färg, NOTA Multimedia LTV Allemande, Notre Dame University, Novare International, Novem, Novotel, Nuclear Electric, Nursery Union O O'Neill, ÖBB Bahnstrom, ODME, Office du Tourisme de Lorraine, Office Int. de l'eau, Office National de la Chasse, ÖGB 100 Jahre, ÖO Landesausstellung, Olympic Austrian Commitee, Orthopädische Industrie-Otto Bock, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Österreichische Werbepreise, P.Reincke Direkt Marketing GmbH, Page & Moy, Pall Hydraulik, Pantheon Productions, Penthouse, PepsiCo, Pergo Flooring, Peugeot, Pfaff Silberblau, Pfizer, Pharma Lab, Pharma-laser, Pharmascience, Philip Morris SA, Philips, Phönix Backbedarf GmbH, Pierre Fabre, Plasser & Theurer, Plawerg, Madrid, Playboy, Plymounth, PNEM, Poilane, Point Series, Polygram, PPG Industries, Precor USA, Proctor & Gamble, PTT Telecom BV, Public Museum of Grand Rapids, Qualifortour, Rabobank, Raiffeisen Bank, Raleigh, Ramada Inns, Rand McNally, RATP, RDR-Affektive Störungen, Reckitt & Coleman, Renault, Reuters, Rhone Poulenc, Rijksmuseum, Rise International, Royal Canin, Royal Dutch Air Force,,SAAB GmbH, Sake, Sale 96, Salzburger Tourismus, Sanofi Pharma, Saturn, Schering, Schindler, Schleswag, Schloemann Slemag, Schöller Bank, Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, Schwäbisch Hall, Schweizerische Industriegesellschaft, Scottish Office Education Dept., SeaFirst Bank, Seagram, SeaWorld , Sealy, Searle Canada, Sears, Sep, Serv & Tech AB, Service One Catering, Shell, Sherwin Williamís, Shimano, Shindler, Siemens, Signum, Simstar Inc., Sipa, Sita, Skillmaster, Sofidoc, Sony, Southwest Bell, SPC Vision, Stabernack, Jr. Partner GmbH & Co., Stadt Dornbirn, Stadt Heiligenstadt, Stadt Wien, Stadtmuseum Bad Ischl, Stadtwerke Geinhausen GmbH, St. Elisabeth Hospital, Start Opleidingen, Stephansdom, Storck GmbH, Studio Hamburg, Subaru of America, Swatch, Symphony Group, Synthelabo, Syracuse University, Tauernkraftwerke AG, Target Vision, Teleac, Tempo, Tengelmann, Texaco, The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, The Brain Center, The National Cancer Institute, The Palace Museum China, The Spanish Ministry of Social Security and Welfare, Thomson CSF, Thyssen, Tirol CD-i, Tissot, TNO, Toyota, Trodat, TRT, Tsuyata, Unisource, United Nations, United Technologies Corp., University of Glasgow, University of Guelph, University of Iowa, University of Nijmegen, US Federal Government, US Gold Association, US Navy, US Pharmacopea, US Postal Services, US West, Valkieser New Media, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vekabest, Verband Österreichischer Hobelwerke, Veritech, Verkade, Versalius Klinik, Victory Interactive Media S..A, Video Arts, Videotronic, VGZ medical Insurance, Vismed LTD, Vivanco, VOEST Alpine, Vogelbusch, Vogel Verlag, VOK Dams Gruppe, Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, Volkswagen, Volvo, Vredenstein, Vroom & Dreesmann, Vucom Graphic Systems, VVD, VVV, Wella AG, Wendy's, Werndl Furniture, Western Autostores, Weyerhouser, Whirlpool, Wifi Wien, Wilson Learning, Wolf Gartengeräte, Wyeth, Yamaha, Yamanouchi Pharma GmbH, Yves Rocher, Yves Saint LaurEnt, Zambon, Zegna, Zeneca and Zumtobel.
This list was created by Philips Disc Systems in early 1999, and is used with permission.