Today at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Google, Intel and Sony announced the development of Google TV - an open platform that brings Web content on television.
Intel, Sony, and Logitech, together with Best Buy, DISH Network and Adobe, joined Google on stage to announce their support for Google TV. Google TV, will work with Intel chips in products by Sony and Logitech International SA, Google said today at a conference in San Francisco.
Google TV is based on the Android platform and runs the Google Chrome web browser. Users can access all of their usual TV channels as well as a world of Internet and cloud-based information and applications, including Adobe Flash based content ? all from the comfort of their own living room and with the same simplicity as browsing the web. When coupled with the Intel Atom processor CE4100, Intel?s latest system-on-a-chip designed specifically for consumer electronics, the new platform will offer home theatre quality A/V performance. Sony and Logitech said they would be delivering products based on the new Intel Atom processor and running Google TV later this year. While Google TV is designed to work with any TV operator, at launch the user experience will be fully optimized when paired with DISH Network.
The Google TV experience is complemented by the ability to watch streaming video from leading content platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and YouTube. Google TV will also have the capability to run apps from the Android Market.
To navigate the array of content that will now be available through a single device and on a single screen, Google TV introduces an integrated search experience to help viewers find relevant content across over-the-air and pay-TV channel listings, DVR, and the Internet, as well as a picture-in-picture layout to access multiple windows simultaneously. Google TV also features a home screen to help viewers organize their favorite content. Some of these features are only available with advanced integration from DISH Network.
Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and CEO said, "We are very proud to be working with this distinguished set of partners, all of whom have decades of experience in hardware, design and retail."
Sony announced plans to introduce "Sony Internet TV," the world's first TV lineup incorporating the Google TV platform. The first models are planned to be introduced in the U.S. market in the Fall of 2010 with the lineup featuring both a standalone TV model and set top box-type unit incorporating a Blu-ray Disc drive.
Logitech will introduce a companion box that brings Google TV to existing HDTV home entertainment systems, integrating with any brand of HDTV and set-top box. The companion box will incorporate Logitech?s Harmony remote control technology, and will include a controller that combines keyboard and remote control capabilities. The company also has plans to introduce an HDTV camera and video chat for Google TV, along with additional choices for navigation and control, including apps to turn a smart phone into an advanced controller for Google TV and home-entertainment systems.
The Intel Atom CE4100 processor
will power both the Logitech and Sony devices.
DISH Network has been a key partner with Google on advanced integration development for Google TV. The two partners began a joint trial over a year ago with more than 400 DISH Network and Google beta users. Based on the continuous feedback from the trial, Google and DISH Network have built the optimized Google TV experience that seamlessly integrates traditional TV, DVR and web content.
Best Buy will bring their retail experience and consumer expertise to the project, with Google TV devices being sold at Best Buy locations nationwide later this year.
Finally, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 will be integrated directly into the Google Chrome browser on Google TV, enabling viewers to experience web pages with Flash content including games, animations, applications, videos, audio and more.
Google also announced that they would soon release a set of TV specific APIs for web applications, encouraging web developers to begin building unique web applications for use on television sets. Later this year Google will also release an updated Android SDK, which will support applications built for Google TV.
Google also plans to open source the Google TV platform to help spur innovation in the industry and so that other developers can benefit from the project.
Google is hoping to tap into the billions of television viewers around the world with the new product. Google TV puts Web content on television to persuade more consumers to use the Internet in their living rooms and view advertisements that generate revenue.
During the presentation, Google also unveiled a new version of its Android operating system for mobile phones. Called Android 2.2 and codenamed Froyo, the new iteration is faster and has more features tailored for business users, according to the company.
Android 2.2 new features for consumers including portable Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, support for Adobe Flash within the Android Browser, and improvements to Android Market. People will be able to use wireless connections to link multiple smart devices to Android phones, letting gadgets share a single Internet connection.
Also this morning, Google offered a preview of an upcoming web-based version of Android Market and an update to the native Music app, which will allow users to access their music from Android-based handsets.
Developers can download the Android 2.2 SDK and Android NDK, Revision 4 now from the Android developer site. Froyo will be made available to OEMs and the open source community in the coming weeks.