Remember like 10 years ago when the “cool” thing to do was WebTV? A computer on your television set, with a keyboard and a mouse that worked (sometimes) with no wires?! Okay, so it was never really that cool—maybe watching TV and computing simultaneously hadn’t been invented yet—and yet Google is partnering with Sony to bring the Internet back to the television.
Right now there are a few set-top boxes that offer access to limited Internet content. Google & Sony’s box, with the Android OS, would allow users to access the full Internet, possibly with apps for popular sites like Twitter and Picasa, according to the New York Times.
Google and Sony have already tapped Logitech to make some auxiliary devices, including a remote control with a mini keyboard. Isn’t it great? All the inconveniences of your other devices—the tiny keyboard on your phone, the constant distraction of the Internet and the mind-numbing power of the tube—combined into one ultimate time-wasting device. (YouTwitFace?)
And before we all start begging that this is a joke and not seriously what Google’s planning to pursue next, apparently this project is several months under way. (But knowing the business world, that probably means they’re still in the paperwork stage, if they’ve even got that far.)
(In case you were wondering, WebTV was purchased by Microsoft and eventually rebranded as MSN TV. While they continue to support existing customers, Microsoft finally gave up on selling the hardware last year.)
What do you think? Are all things old new again? Or is this another money pit for companies that really don’t need it?