Google TV, And Why It Hasn’t Happened Yet

March 5th, 2013 | thinking

After I posted this raw braindump yesterday, a few people called me out on this bit:

I wonder what happens when Google decide to look at TV interfaces, long expected to be an Apple focus going forward.

Because, of course, there is such a thing as Google TV, and has been for a couple of years, along with airy claims about half the new TVs in America being fitted with it  Which may be true.  I don’t live there, after all.  But I will say that I don’t hear a lot of people talking about Google TV.  Wikipedia (yeah, I know) notes:

Cable providers as well as content providers have been slow to warm to Google TV. NBC, ABC, Fox,[47] CBS and Hulu have blocked Google TV enabled devices from accessing their web content since Google TV’s launch

Here’s what I was thinking.  From one perception, there are two Googles.  There’s the Google that fiddle-farts around with stuff just to have a foot in that space.  The Google that made Orkut, for instance.  And then there’s the Google that released a fleet of camera trucks into the wild in order to make a free online street-level interactive map of the world.

Google TV, as it stands now, strikes me as the former.  A TV guide, a TV browser, Send To TV – these all seem like play to me.

But what prompted the thought was recent developments, in the last few weeks – additions to the platform, moves to become a spectrum database, and the like.  What if they put together a larger and more directed team, with the mandate to go from, if you like, from Google Wave to Google Street View, with the freedom to go nuts, reach for the sky and iterate like all hell?  The full NASA, as it were.  Actually looking very hard at the problem with the intent of claiming the space.

(They’ve made some interactivity hires recently that kind of informed my speculation, too.)

Anyway.  That’s what I was thinking.  Google hasn’t done TV yet.  Not really.  But they could.


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