Google’s “smart TV” platform to debut tomorrow


We recently reported that Google and Intel will debut their web-enabled “smart TV” platform sometime this week during Google’s I/O developer conference, with Sony as a customer. Now we have a firmer date; It appears that Google is set to debut the platform tomorrow, thanks to some intrepid sleuthing by TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid.

Some fiddling with Google’s I/O press site URL revealed a page that was clearly not ready for public consumption, except for a telling few words: ““Insert Android press release / TV press release.” The site was quickly taken down after TechCrunch reported on it.

There’s no new information otherwise, but we already know the gist of what will be announced tomorrow. Intel wants to get its Atom CPUs (currently popularized by netbooks) into TVs, and Google wants Android to be the software on top of that. Intel CEO Paul Otellini spoke at length about the company’s vision for web-connected televisions at an analyst meeting a few weeks ago, and word on Google’s television plans have been swirling for months. Google is also already testing a TV search product on Dish Network.

We can expect Google not to be shy about getting web content on televisions. The platform can potentially support streaming video sites like Netflix and Hulu, social networking integration, and even games.

As I wrote previously, it’s telling that Google may be introducing the platform at an event aimed at developers. Since Google TV is based on Android, the company’s mobile operating system, it will likely have a large focus on extending its functionality via applications. Some television makers, like Sony and Samsung, are already offering applications on their televisions — but Google TV would open up the TV app market to third party developers as well.

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