||This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
|Industry||Internet TV, Media Center & Video game consoles and peripherals|
|Key people||John Landino, CEO|
|Revenue||NA, Private Company|
|Employees||3, as of July 2007 |
Phantom Entertainment, Inc. (formerly known as Infinium Labs until 2006) is a company making keyboards, founded in 2002 by Tim Roberts.
Infinium is best known for developing The Phantom, a cancelled video game console that had promised on demand gaming via the internet in 2004, a full five years[dubious ] before it became commonplace, although no such product ever made it to market leading some to suggest it was Vaporware.
Company history 
Infinium Labs was founded by Tim Roberts in 2002 as a private company. In January 2003 Infinium Labs issued a press release to all news outlets stating that they would soon release a "revolutionary new gaming platform" that would offer an on-demand video game service, delivering games via an online subscription. The press release contained no specific information, but did include a computer-generated prototype design. Due to the excessive use of buzzwords and a suspicious lack of details, the product was derided almost from the start by news sites such as IGN and Slashdot and the comic strip Penny Arcade. In an episode that gained wide publicity, the hardware and gaming site HardOCP researched and wrote an extensive article on the company and the operation, and faced a defensive lawsuit in turn. It also received the first place in "Vaporwares 2004" in Wired News. In 2004 Infinium Labs went public.
Roberts left the company in the summer of 2005 with millions of shares of stock, but before any products had been delivered. He later rejoined as Chairman of the Board but in a July 2007 press release he resigned from the company. Subsequent CEOs include Kevin Bachus (who took the post in August 2005), Greg Koler (in January 2006) and John Landino, who was appointed CEO and Interim Chief Financial Officer in July 2008.
In September 2006, the company, which by then had changed its name from Infinium Labs, promised to introduce its "Lapboard" product in November 2006, with a gaming service to follow in March 2007. In June 2008, the company released their Lapboard product.
In August 2007, Phantom Entertainment signed a deal with ProGames network to provide Lapboards and "Game Service Content" in hotels worldwide.
In 2009, Phantom Entertainment became a private company and focused on producing its Phantom Lapboard.
The Phantom console 
The Phantom, as shown to floor goers at E3 2004 in Los Angeles
|Type||Video game console|
|Generation||If released, was going to be in the Sixth generation era or Seventh generation era (depending on expected release)|
|Retail availability||Canceled was expected to be released in November 2004, then January 2005, then March 2005, then September 2005|
The Phantom was a cancelled video game console that allegedly began development in 2003 by Phantom Entertainment, known as Infinium Labs at that time. The cancelled device was supposedly planned to be capable of playing current and future PC games, giving the system a massive initial game library and making it easier for developers to produce games for the system. The system was supposedly designed to use a direct-download content delivery service instead of the discs and cartridges used by most game consoles.
Press releases from 2003 stated that the console would be unveiled that year and that the digital rights management software would be provided by DiStream. The Phantom was first seen in action at the May 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) as a prototype, though rumors circulated that what was shown was a fake.
Robrady Design was hired to develop the first Phantom Prototype and Synopse ID was later retained to develop the 2nd and 3rd generation prototypes. The streaming software, UI and code was developed with 220 engineers and developers in the industry as employees in the Seattle Office which was led by Ty Graham (founder of DirectX) and Kevin Bachus (founder of the Xbox).
Release date 
The Phantom had an online unveiling on August 17, 2003 that contained basic hardware specs and the baseline price of "below $399". Other details included an option for customized hardware builds and the PhantomNet (the service for acquiring gaming content) price of $9.95 a month. A release date for the first quarter of 2004 was set. It would miss this date, later claiming it would go on sale that November for the holiday season, however the company still had not developed the online delivery software, licensed games or found any retailers. The company missed that deadline again, but sent thousands of faxes claiming the system would be ready to launch in January 2005.
When that deadline passed, Infinium predicted the system's release to be around March 2005. That date passed and Infinium Labs did not appear at the 2005 E3. There were hints from Kevin Bachus, former Infinium CEO, that the Phantom would be released around the same time as the Xbox 360 in Autumn 2005, but that date was also missed.
On February 21, 2006 it was reported that The Phantom video game console has been delayed indefinitely "pending further funding". By August of that same year, the Phantom Console was removed from the products page of the Phantom Entertainment website.
Although the Phantom product did not reach manufacture, computer company Alienware did order a shipment of Lapboards for inclusion with a line of media center PCs. Supposedly for release in February 2007, the company stated in December that Phantom could not meet their delivery needs and they would not be carrying the product.
Financial problems 
The company was not able to achieve its projected $30 million capital raise to complete the Phantom Gaming Service and announced it was to scale down and focus on the Phantom Lapboard, a device for set-top boxes in the living room.
On May 16, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Phantom Entertainment founder and former CEO Timothy Roberts of running a "pump and dump" scheme in promoting the Phantom console in 2004.
The Phantom has controversy in both the gaming and business worlds due to the constant pushing back of its release date and a number of financial scandals involving Phantom Entertainment. Phantom Entertainment has lost more than $62.7 million since its creation in its efforts to create the Phantom Console.
Originally designed as a component of the Phantom game console, it is currently being marketed as an individual purchase for use with Internet TV and PC video games while the console has been cancelled.
In 2010, a new model of the Phantom Lapboard was released, which is designed to work with Internet TV, gaming and media centers.
On August 15, 2006, it was announced that the price for the Lapboard would be $129.99 and customers who preorder get $30 off immediately. The first large production order of the Phantom Lapboard was shipped from China on June 15, 2009 and is scheduled to arrive in the USA on July 9, 2009.
The Phantom Lapboard was nominated at the 2004 E3 show for the "BEST OF SHOW" category, and has recently been ordered by Alienware for their Media Center PCs, and a manufacturing contract has been signed to fulfill their order with the manufacturer Itron Technology. On January 3, 2006, Infinium Labs announced that the "Phantom Lapboard" component of the console, which is a keyboard and mouse designed to be held on the lap (for use, for example, seated on a couch in front of a television), was due to be released onto online retailers by the second quarter of 2006. On April 19, 2006, Infinium Labs announced that the keyboard would not be released in time for Q2 2006, but that the device, manufactured by Itron Technology, would be released in North America and Europe "no later than October" of 2006. The keyboard was then delayed until November 2006. On August 22, 2007, Phantom Entertainment signed a deal with ProGames network to provide Lapboards and "Game Service Content" in hotels worldwide. The keyboard was finally released on June 23, 2008, two years after its originally planned release date.
Features and specs 
- Super slim keypad with scissor-type keycaps
- 3 - button laser mouse with scroll wheel
- Tilt keyboard design with swiveling plate for both right and left handed users
- Two-way 2.4 GHz rf technology with 79 channels and 11 ids per channel
- Wireless operational range can reach up to 10 meters in open space
- Compact size keyboard with 13 mce hotkeys (10 compound mce hotkeys)
- 1200 dpi resolution with motion detection on acceleration of 8g
- Hhigh-speed motion detection of 20 inches/second
- Low power consumption, 16ma in working mode
- Self-adjusting 4-step power saving function with power on/off button
- Battery duration typically 4 months
- Device Type: Keyboard
- Wireless Receiver: USB Wireless Receiver
- Form Factor: External
- Input Device:
- Connectivity Technology: Wireless
- Interface: RF
- Max Operating Distance: Up To 33 FT
- Key/Button Function: Volume
- Ergonomic Design: Yes
- Keyboard Layout: Qwerty
- Pointing Device / Manipulator: Mouse
- Movement Detection Technology: Laser
- Pointing Device Features: Scrolling Wheel, Wireless
- Expansion / Connectivity:
- Connections: 1 X USB - 4 Pin USB Type A
- Compliant Standards: ISO 9001, EN 60950, IEC 60950, FCC Part 15, RoHS, WEEE
- Package Type: Retail
- Type: AA Type
- Installed Qty: 4
- Technology: Alkaline
The Phantom Lapboard was released for consumer sales in 2008 and is currently sold on the companies website, Amazon, NewEgg and NCIX.
In April 2008, MaximumPC (a PC gaming website) published a hands-on with the lapboard, describing it as "extremely promising" although the supplied mouse "experienced signal dropouts at a distance of about 24 inches from the sensor". They were able to use their own wireless mice with more success. The preview states that the peripheral will be available in "June for $130 in limited quantities".
On June 23, 2008, the Phantom Lapboard became available for sale on the company's official website.
On June 18, 2009, The Phantom Lapboard became available as part of a MainGear Computers bundle, with MainGear being the first company to offer the Lapboard as part of a bundle.
On May 23, 2010 Phantom Entertainment launched a new website selling the lapboard.
On June 6, 2010 ZiggyTek named the Phantom Lapboard Gadget of The Week.
On July 6, 2010 HotHardware.com gives the Phantom Lapboard 5 out of 5 stars in their product review.
Legal controversies 
HardOCP lawsuit 
On February 19, 2004, Infinium Labs' lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to the editor of HardOCP demanding the news site take down the article, claiming it "painted a portrait of a company intent on swindling the public", and threatening to file a defamation suit. Rather than concede to the demands, HardOCP owner Kyle Bennett filed a lawsuit for a declaratory judgement stating that they had done nothing wrong. Infinium Labs then filed suit in Florida and denied jurisdiction was proper in Texas, even though they had previously maintained a staffed office in Richardson, Texas (which had by then been closed).
In September 2004, the judge on the case ruled that Infinium Labs must produce several financial documents (including Roberts' personal income tax returns) by the end of the month. Infinium failed to produce the required documents and subsequently faced a court order compelling them to do so. They were informed that sanctions would be awarded to KB Networks and Kyle Bennett in an amount to be determined by the court, later reported to have been $50,000. In settlement, Infinium Labs dropped the co-pending Florida suit, admitted all of the allegations of the KB Networks complaint in Texas, and paid $50,000 to end the suit.
Other controversies 
In October 2005, it emerged that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had given notice to Tim Roberts that charges were being planned against him for violating unspecified federal securities laws. In its statement on the notice, Infinium stated that they were not notified of the specific charges but that it suspected they were related to an SEC investigation of unlawful promotion of penny stocks (which had included Infinium's). Roberts hired a stock promoter to send out faxes; these faxes claimed that the Phantom console's release was imminent, and that the stock might surge in value as much as 3,000%. According to SEC allegations, the company never planned to release the console at the time the faxes claimed due to significant "technological and manufacturing hurdles" which had yet to be overcome and were part of a pump and dump scheme by Roberts. Roberts has since reached a settlement with the SEC; he is barred from serving as an officer or public director of any public company for five years, is barred from participating in penny stock offerings for five years, and paid a $30,000 fine.
It was further revealed that while Tim Roberts was CEO of Infinium, the company failed to report a large amount of interest and penalties on unpaid payroll taxes. From its inception Infinium had consistently reported very small amounts of cash on hand and large (and growing) debt.
In January 2006, Infinium Labs reached an agreement to borrow up to $5,000,000 from the Golden Gate Investors group to finance the manufacturing process of the Phantom Lapboard, which was scheduled for release later that year. If fully exercised, this would have been the largest amount of money Infinium Labs had ever borrowed at once. The loan would have been repaid over three years, with the option to repay with shares of common stock.
In February 2006, Gamespot reported that the Phantom Entertainment was putting the Phantom Game Service on hold in favour of development of the Lapboard. An SEC filing also showed losses in excess of $62.7 million over three years, over half of which was spent on marketing the company and products which were never released. Over $24 million was spent on salaries and consultants, but only $2.5 million on development. Infinium claimed they still intended to release the Lapboard if their financial situation improved. The "Lapboard" repeatedly missed release dates of the second quarter of 2006, October 2006 and November 2006.
On August 15, 2006, Phantom Entertainment removed all references to the Phantom Game Receiver from its website. They continued to claim that the content delivery system targeted for the Phantom would be made available for PCs running Microsoft Windows XP / Media Centre, and later indicated this service would be available in March 2007, following the release of the Lapboard in November 2006.
SEC allegations and subsequent settlement 
Among the major allegations was that, in late 2004, Roberts paid a promoter to send thousands of junk faxes falsely claiming that Infinium Labs planned to launch the 'Phantom' system in January 2005. The resulting buzz drove Infinium Labs' stock up. Roberts paid the promoter in $200,000 of company money and 4 million shares of restricted stock, without registering the transfer with the SEC. Roberts also sold more than 1.3 million shares of his own stock, often without reporting the transactions with the SEC, making a profit of $422,500. Both activities violate federal securities laws.
The SEC asked the U.S. District Court in Orlando, Florida "to force Roberts to surrender those proceeds, pay a civil penalty and be prohibited from ever again serving as an officer or director of a public company or participating in any offering of penny stock."
On September 19, 2008, the SEC settled the charges with Tim Roberts. As part of the settlement, Roberts agreed to be barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company for five years, to be barred from participating in any offering of penny stock for five years, and to pay a $30,000 civil penalty.
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