Google has apparently decided on the next place to extend its reach: the living room.
Google, Intel, and Sony are working on a set-top box running Google's Android software called Google TV, according to a report from The New York Times. They are also collaborating on televisions with technology from the three companies, with Google software serving as the interface on the devices.Google declined to comment on what it called "rumor and speculation."
The television has been the holy grail for the PC and Internet industries for years, with little success. Intel tried mightily over the last decade to get its silicon inside PCs and set-top boxes that controlled televisions, with very little success. Apple, of course, has pursued this field as a "hobby," while gaming console companies and devices like the Roxu and Boxee products have had more modest success.
More recently, Yahoo has worked on technology for connected televisions, but that effort as well has not turned into the kind of mainstream breakthrough that the industry seeks. Google's focus on the television has mainly been confined to Google TV Ads, a partnership with Dish Network to gather better data on television ad-viewing habits.
Google partners are already building set-top boxes using the Android software, but this new effort appears to be more comprehensive. Google Chrome will reportedly be used on the devices, and Google will design the user interface. The devices will be designed to access Internet content alongside traditional television programming, according to the report.
No time frame was given for the project. Intel will contribute Atom processors for the devices while Sony designs the hardware, the report said.