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Google TV & 3rd Party Developers Anticipate The Web/TV Meld

As ubiquitous as Google is, it's no surprise it will soon become one of the pioneers in melding TV with the Web. So much so, in the next couple of months it will actually provide 3rd party developers and outside software engineers with a toolkit to help develop what Google TV will eventually look like.

In partnership with Intel and Sony, Google is looking for the type of API development creativity that was behind the Twitter, Facebook and smartphone application interfaces. At present however, it's still a top-level project, and the Googlers and developers involved are sworn to secrecy.

What is known - is that the Google-Intel-Sony troika have tapped Logitech which specializes in controls and computer speakers for peripheral devices, including a hand remote with a miniature keyboard.

The Google TV objective is to create software that will offer viewers with an interface to perform Internet functions such as search while also pulling down Web programming like YouTube videos or TV shows from Hulu.com. The technology will also allow for Twitter, Facebook, downloadable Web applications and virtual gaming.

According to a NY Times report, Jacob Hsu, chief executive of Symbio, a contract engineering firm that works with consumer electronics companies thinks that the rising interest in set-top box technology will be part of the Google Web/TV integration. An article I wrote back in December titled, "TV Gets Personal: Social Networking Through Set-Top Boxes" notes one of the current advances in set-top development made by BackChannelMedia's Clickable TV, which would be one of Google TV's competitors.

In order for Google to move its services beyond the office into the living room, this pre-emptive step of welcoming 3rd party developers will provide with them a jump-start to become one of the major brands advancing Web TV. In essence, Google wants to be everywhere there's an opportunity to capture additional advertising dollars - and Web TV looks like its the next digital goldmine.

Competitors that don't have the name recognition of Google have engaged their PR departments to build cases against Google's entry into this field. Anthony Wood, founder and chief executive of Roku said that a browser-based Google TV box would require an expensive chip and would probably cost $200 or more, compared with a cheaper alternative, like Roku’s $80 device. The device streams content from more than a dozen sites, including Netflix, Blip.TV and Amazon.com. Moreover, “on TV, people want specific TV apps, not a browser experience,” he said.

Google 2010 Developer ConferenceGoogle 2010 Developer ConferenceWhile there is no word on when Google will launch its Developer Toolkit, their Annual Developer Conference coming up May 19-20 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco seems like the logical venue. With over 80 sessions and 3000 developers anticipated to attend, I could envision 'Google TV' as a major agenda item.  So it won't be too far off before googling your favorite TV show will soon take on a whole new meaning!

And based on Google becoming prominent in your living room, what room in the house do you think is next?

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