Posted March 18, 2010 3:25 pm by with 3 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

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?

  • I’ll be wating for this! If those guys put their heads together then we’ll see some great stuff soon.
    Google, Sony, Logitech

  • The truth is that the idea of Web TV was sound. It was probably too ahead of the market at the time and poorly managed thereafter.

    The very idea of having a centralised media system is everything in the future and I imagine it will rebirth shortly

    Interestingly Apple TV is hardly as success though… but if a major content provider got together with a manufacturer – then the game would be on

  • I’m afraid old recipes goes out again. But when we see actors as Google enter in TV fields, we can be sure it’s more than a tip. Actually, problem was wired and connections in households, that made some failed in such MS mediacenter uses. But with xDSL and cable power rising up, new abilities can be covered, like HD, 3D and live games.
    Manufacturers like Sony always dream to go into contents value chain, like a worm in the fruit of selling more and adding value to their TVs. As wires followed, and contents dropped everywhere (mobile, house, catchup, VOD….), contents providers, with the shadow of piracy everywhere, try to seed their production to hold exclusivity, in “all-in” bright electronic products new features. THAT is new, that manufacturers, after set top boxes, TV and other devices, build now “all-in-one” systems, making them accessible to pay and free contents. The problem for Google is to reach critical size to make a real other choice in OS, spreading Android to mobile, web, any device it can invade, and now set top box.
    It’s another step to convergence toward content and social TV…
    .-= Laurent Blondeau (evidencesx)´s last blog ..Extinction Time Line and Time Warps: do we have to wait a new beginning? =-.