The rumors have been circulating for months, that Google has partnered with Intel, Sony and Logitech to work together to develop a new TV, with help from others. But rumors is all they were and no one was yet willing to confirm anything. Finally we now have some solid facts to go on. Last week, on the Google I/O Conference, the curtain has been pulled back, and we have our first official glimpse at the Google TV, the first official “smart television”.
Google was joined on stage by representatives from Intel, Sony and Logitech- all of whom helped with the development of the new platform, as well as reps from Best Buy, DISH Network, and Adobe who all announced their support.
“Imagine turning on the TV and getting all the channels and shows you normally watch and all of the websites you browse all day”, the Google press release stated, “including your favorite video, music and photo sites. We’re excited to announce that we’ve done just that.”
Google TV is a device that will soon be included in many TVs, or it can be sold as a separate unit. The device will connect your TV to the internet, and essentially create a search engine within your television. Users can type in what they are looking for in a search bar that will be displayed on their TV, and the Google device will search the internet and the cable provider for it.
The main feature of Google TV, says to Reuters, is a search box that appears on the screen, much like the web site of Google. Through the box, viewers can find live broadcasts, TV shows, movies, or whatever other content on the Internet at the push of a button on the remote. The built-in Google Chrome browser with full Flash support will allow full internet access to stream video, listen to music, and view pictures, among other things. It will also feature a menu that allows users to save their favorite channels, websites, and online content.
The device itself is powered by the Intel Atom CE4100 processor, and it will feature an Android based platform. Sony will soon be selling TVs with the Google device installed, and Logitech will begin developing a special remote control, keyboard, and other peripherals.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the Google TV is the potential pool of Android apps. Developers are welcomed and encouraged to begin their Google TV specific apps immediately, but Google will soon release a specific development tool kit to developers, and the only limit to the apps is the imagination of those that develop them.
Google’s Android based smartphones will also be integrated into the system, and users can use the phones as TV input devices. For example, a person can speak the name of a TVshow into their phone, and it will appear on screen.
Watch here the video presentation of Google TV available at http://google.com/tv/ and also have a look at the official presentation during the the Google I/O Conference last week
Google TV will be available in Fall of this year, but no word yet on price.