Nov 23, 2010

Your Friendly Smart TV

The smart TV is an idea that has been around for a long time now. It's an idea that has value but technology and innovation has not quite found the right formula to make it happen on a wide scale. Over the past few years many devices have been popping up with their own formulas. Microsoft's Xbox is a great example of this. I can Twitter, Facebook, play games, watch movies, and voice chat with friends all from my TV (via Xbox). However, Xbox is not the easiest thing to use and does not play well with your existing cable company. Google has already changed the landscape of both the web and mobile technology, is the living room TV the next landscape Google will change? I'm thinking "yes".

Google TV is a new internet appliance that is designed to run on your TV set. It is also a new platform similar to Android on your mobile phone. It is not Android (nor Chrome) but something different. Once again Google is using its searching strength as part of the platform. Google thinks its users will be more comfortable searching for shows rather than browsing through the hundreds of channels on basic cable. And I agree! After all, TV shows are just another type of content. It's not just search though, you will be able to use the Android market to download applications and games. And starting in 2011, applications will start being developed specifically for Google TV.

Applications developed specifically for Google TV are where I think the smart TV will start to mature into something of value. I think Google will lead the charge on this instead of Apple with Apple TV (like it did with the mobile phone). I admit that I can't imagine all of the possibilities here but I'll take a poke at one. When I watch sporting events right now, I've notice that I have a whole gaggle of friends on Facebook commenting on every big play in the game. Instead of having to check my mobile phone every few minutes, and app could be written that gives me the game related status updates on the TV screen itself. Then when the running back fumbles the ball 3 yards from the end zone, I'll get to know what all my Facebook friends or Twitter connections think about it. If I want to chime in with what I think, I can use the keyboard on my mobile phone.

I expect the smart TV to emerge as a bigger player in our daily lives over the next few years now that Google has opened a bigger and better door. Do you think the real value of the smart TV is already here, coming soon, or just a pipe dream? Will this be the end of broadcast TV?

No comments: