Another visible sign that Google is out to diversify its services was out today as the search engine giant announced that it will launch Google TV in autumn (or fall, whatever suits you).
Obviously, Google thinks television is one important aspect of entertainment that refuses to die, and therefore continues to be one source of opportunity. Google cites that 4 billion people watch television, and an average American spends five hours staring at the television set every day. The idea behind Google TV is that as entertaining as television shows are, viewers are still at the mercy of schedules that lifestyles are sometimes altered to suit a TV show time slot. Think of it as similar to “I need to go home now since Seinfeld is up in 20 minutes” or “we need to move our dinner after ‘America’s Got Talent'”.
With the need for more alternatives, cable television came over and offered us special channels where a sports buff father can watch professional sports round the clock, a cooking-crazed mom can watch channels devoted to recipes, food and cooking, and their puppy can now watch channel about grooming, dog food, and anything to do with canines. Yet we still depend on when our favorite shows are shown, and sometimes arguments ensue within family members on remote control. TiVo offered relief, but that’s it.
Meanwhile, we have become more fixated towards our mobile phones and PCs/Macs that we often bypass television when looking for video entertainment. Highlight NBA plays of the day, TV drama we missed last night, and so on. Why so? Both mobile devices and computers are integrated with the Web, something that televisions lack. We can only wish we could take advantage of our wide-screen television to offer the same thing. Until Google’s announcement, that remains a wish.
Google TV works so that our television becomes empowered with ability to deliver the power of the Internet on top of its conventional function. With Google TV, we can now freely switch from TV to Internet mode. With the latter, we can watch videos, browse photos and more. Indeed, Google TV will make our television sets more than just for television: it can also be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.
Equipped with the ubiquitous search form, Google TV allows us to search for our favorite shows, channels, websites and movies. And since this application was built on open platforms such as Android and Google Chrome, Google TV’s will not be limited to the description above. In fact, Google challenged developers to come up with Android applications that could well be the next big thing for TV experience. So if you want to get ahead with a brilliant opportunity, here’s your chance.
With this announcement, the whole television experience is yet to enter another dimension. One that will continue to make television an integral part of family entertainment.
For entertainment’s sake, here are some incorrect predictions in the past regarding the future of televisions:
Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.
Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.
Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.
Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.
While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.
Lee De Forest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, 1926.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/videocrab/