Do you remember when Google was a search engine? Seems a long time ago doesn’t it.
Google Docs. Google Calendar. Gmail. Android. YouTube. Google Chrome. Blogger. Google Earth. Google Maps. Google Streetview. Google… well, you get the idea.
It’s all part of the Internet Goliath’s plan to command pretty much everything we do on the web. Hey ho. Makes a change from Microsoft trying to control everything I suppose.
Anyway, philosophical debates about surrendering our personal information to a single company aside… the latest Google-branded attempt to dominate our lives is Google TV.
Announced back in May, further details have just been released and, at face value, it looks mighty interesting.
As the name suggests, this is the long-promised convergence between TV and web. And rather than me trying to explain precisely what Google TV – here’s a video. Seems fitting somehow.
The biggest problem with putting the web onto the TV has always been the user interface. Sat in front of a computer, the user interacts more-closely with the screen. They have a keyboard and a mouse to move round and press buttons. This is not something that translates easily to a position laid prostate on the sofa; bag of crisps in one hand, remote control stuffed behind a cushion
The 10 foot user interface is the problem. Converting the world of the web into a medium that by its very nature expects the user (let’s call them a “viewer”) to be sat waaaay back from the screen. Small buttons? Nope. BIG buttons and text are the only way it will work. And, it looks like Google may have got it right.
Like many Apple fanatics, I was disappointed with the recent revision to the Apple TV. I wanted more than was offered. I didn’t just want a ‘dumb’ box to stream my iTunes library to the goggle box in the corner. And as much as it pains me to say it… I think Google TV looks like providing what I hoped my favourite fruity computer maker was going to.