“The revolution we’re about to go through is the biggest single change in television since it went color,” Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini told analysts last week.

The above statement describes what Google, Sony, Intel and Logitech hope will be their joint effort to introduce a ‘Smart TV’ at a developers conference that will be held in San Francisco today. The companies have joined forces to bring a advanced grouping of technologies that will change the way we entertain ourselves in our living rooms.

So what is ‘Smart TV’? It is software that will be built into devices that will allow Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes to seamlessly provide consumers with a new user experience. In a recent article it states that this technology will:

Google isn’t the first online company to make a grab for the TV. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, manufacturers displayed a plethora of televisions, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes with Internet services, including online photo delivery, music streaming, news reports, weather forecasts and stock quotes.

Yahoo Inc. was among the first technology companies to make Internet sites such as Facebook and Twitter accessible on the TV. And Netflix Inc. delivered movies to TVs online.

“Google making an announcement on its own is one thing,” said James McQuivey, media analyst with Forrester Research. “Making it with Sony is considerably different.

“It lends a lot of credibility that Google might power the TV of the future.”

With more than 1 million sets with a built-in Internet connection already purchased, and an additional 10 million likely to be sold by 2011, McQuivey said, Google sees an opportunity to extend its operating system that now powers Android phones, inexpensive netbook laptops and tablet computers.

“The potential impact of reaching people when they’re fully engaged by a 52-inch TV,” McQuivey said, “and having that sponsored by advertising, that’s very powerful.”

But the idea hasn’t caught on widely, partly because of the limitations of the services. Apple Inc.’s set-top box, for example, enables users to buy and rent movies and TV shows, but not much more in the way of Internet-delivered features.

With Google leading the way, if I were a gambling person, I would place my bet on this coalition to succeed. 🙂

What about you? Will this be the future of TV?

Comments welcome.


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