UPDATED 00:32 EDT / JUNE 01 2016

3997531327_17ed2d33de_b NEWS

Atari signs deal with SIGFOX to manufacture branded IoT devices

Would you like to play Asteroids on your smart, internet-connected bedside lamp?

That may not be happening anytime soon, but you may well see the Atari brand on a range of products in the coming years with the legendary console maker announcing that it was returning to the hardware business through a new partnership.

Atari Interactive, Inc. has signed a deal with SIGFOX SA, a French company that is building a global communications network for IoT devices, to develop a line of new connected devices based on Atari’s brand.

Under the deal Atari will be providing its “brand and creative power” with SIGFOX’s technology that offers a “unique value proposition: connecting the physical world to the Internet through a simple, reliable, low-cost, energy-efficient solution;”

SIGFOX is said to be a rising star in the French startup community and is currently operating in 18 countries with seven million devices registered to its network.

Exactly what type of products the partnership will deliver wasn’t specifically addressed, with the companies only saying that the collaboration will code a “wide range of new Atari products, from the very simple to the highly sophisticated, providing customers with an easy way to know at any time where the devices are and what their status is,” in categories including home, lifestyle, pets and safety.

“Atari, which has disruption rooted in their DNA, was quick to envision the transformative role that the Internet of Things can play in interactive entertainment,” SIGFOX Chief Executive Officer Ludovic Le Moan said in a statement. “Our network bridges the virtual and physical worlds simply, reliably and inexpensively and this collaboration will launch a new dimension to gaming, while supporting features that are limited only by the imagination.”

Branding

On the face of it, the deal itself is primarily an exercise in branding with SIGFOX making the hardware and Atari providing their name, a name that has lived on throughout the years, in more recent times primarily as a game studio versus its origins as a hardware maker.

The idea of reviving an old name for new hardware isn’t a new concept, with one time rival Commodore being resurrected from the dead to be applied to an Android smartphone last year.

That said, if you’re of a particular age (Generation X or older) Atari is still fondly remembered as a hardware maker, and any devices branded with their name will certainly gain attention.

Both companies said that the development of the new product line will begin this year and more details at to what products they are bringing to market “will be shared soon.”

Image credit: moparx/Flickr/CC by 2.0

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