A "who's who" partnership of innovation, Google, Sony and Intel is launching a new television platform that promises to change the way we watch TV by allowing people to access the rich utility of the Internet through their television screens.
"Google was able to conduct a series of Internet searches in a drop-down box that appears at the top of television programs. The search results pointed to Internet videos and other content related to the television program on the screen."
"A telecast of a sporting event can be shrunk into a small "picture-in-picture" box so a viewer can look at statistics or other material about the game on TV."
"Viewers can also make search requests by speaking into a remote that runs on Google's Android operating system."
"Google CEO Eric Schmidt described the potential of the Internet TVs as mind-boggling, although he acknowledged it might be difficult for some consumers to grasp at first. That's one reason he said Google decided to team up with Best Buy, which offers a "geek squad" to deal with complex technology."
It reminded me of an article I wrote back in 2007, "How to Save TV":
"This isn't a competition between TV and the Internet. The Internet is richer because of TV, and it's becoming increasingly clear that programs are richer because of the utility of the Internet. That interdependence needs to be embraced -- even harvested."
"As such, the way to save television is to discard the interruption advertising model on which is based -- that is, to make it more like what is good about the Internet. Rich interactive programs (Choose Your Own Adventure, anyone?), on-demand content that remains free and non-intrusive, and effective, accountable advertising."
"The Internet, simply, needs more bandwidth to support better quality content, higher adoption rates, and better usability. I know Cuban doesn't think much of this can be done, but I'm staking my future on the idea that it can."
"What will we call this integrated system? It's hard to predict. I suppose it depends on the primary path the innovation takes -- whether we're getting the combination of TV and Internet through AppleTV 10.0 or if we're getting it through Comcast Cable. If it's the former, perhaps our children will be asking if we can watch the Internet tonight. If it's the latter, maybe they'll ask if they can play on the TV."
First of all, you're welcome, Google. Your bill is in the mail.
Second, I have to raise an objection to this gross simplification used by the AP in their article:
"Google wants to turn televisions into giant
monitors for Web surfing so it can make more money selling ads."
I'm not a fan in all the ways they want to do it, but Google wants to change the world. Selling ads is simply how they are able to fund new adventures, but it's also how they provide these paradigm changes for free.
The utilities they've developed in their relatively short life as a company have already changed the way we communicate, the way we travel, the way we do research, the way we invest, the way we advertise and the way we build websites,
Not everything they've developed is exclusively (or even remotely) their idea, but any way you look at it, they've fostered widespread adoption of many of their useful technologies because they've developed a sustainable business model that allows them to offer it at no cost to the user.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting Google, Schmidt, or any other Google employee doesn't care about the money. As Ronald Reagan said, it can't buy happiness, but it certainly can buy a better class of memories.
But money is a means as well as an end. Google could have been anything. They chose the type of business they would be, the applications they would develop and the work they would do.
I'm sure the money is nice. But you cannot sell a product like they're proposing to sell unless it has value to the buyer commensurate with the amount they will pay for it. If Google started out with the question, "How do I sell more advertising," they would have folded long ago. - Cam Beck