Google is taking a major step at bringing the Internet to your television. On Wednesday, the online giant announced it's latest innovation, Google TV.
The company described the product in its blog as, "a new experience for television that combines the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet." Basically, it's an optimized browser-type interface to access content on the Web from your living room television.
It's built on top of Google's Android platform and integrates Chrome as well. Since both those platforms are open, Google said it is challenging developers to "start coming up with the next great Web and Android apps designed specifically for the TV experience." The company said developers can start optimizing their Websites for Google TV as of today. Think optimized Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, for your television - the possibilities seem to be endless.
So how do you get Google TV? The company revealed it's partnered with Sony and Logitech to actually sell TV's with Google TV preinstalled. If you're not in the market for a brand new television, Google also said its new product would be available in Blu-ray players and individual set top boxes.
Google wanted to make clear this new product isn't limited to simply about getting video content onto television sets. It emphasized it can be "a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more."
Although this may sound super innovative to the non-tech savvy, the Google giant isn't doing anything new. For example, Boxee has been building its business of creating an optimized media player for televisions which is connected to the Internet. The startup even built an API so developers and sites across the Web could optimize their content to be viewed on top of Boxee's platform. And it even showed off a set-top box which I'm still waiting for. Unfortunately, Boxee has never gone so far as to be directly integrated into televisions, thus never removing a wall between online content and traditional broadcast content.
This new Google product seems like it will definitely remove that wall which separates what you are actually watching on cable TV from what you are accessing on the Web. In the demo video, take note, when conducting a search, you actually get results from what's now playing on TV and what's available on the Web. Salahuddin Choudhary, Google TV product manager said, "This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web."
Check out Google's animated demo.