Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Google working on own set-top box with Kinect-like motion gestures

The Google project has seen modest success (and that’s putting it nicely), but nowhere nr the level of interest of ’s set-top box whichholds more than halfthe world’s market for strming boxes.People who are serious about software make their own hardware, Alan Kay once famously said. In this regard, Google is just as ger to become a hardware maker as is adamant to double-down on online services.That being said, it’s no surprise Google is rethinking its approach to the living room. rlier this week we were offered a glimpse of Google’s renewed living room effort as the srch giantannounced a $35 donglecalledthe Chromecast, alongside the second- 7 tablet.That’s just the beginning, though. The Wall Street Journal now reports that Google is working on its own set-top box hardware with built-in motion recognition technology akin to ’s Kinect…Shira Ovide and Christopher S. Stewart, writing for theJournal, claim Google at CES in January 2013 privately showed off a prototype of a previously unreported set-top box.The device is said to be“similar to existing digital-media hubs sold by companies such as and Roku”, per people briefed on the device, and allegedly included a built-in camera and a motion sensor similar to ’s Kinect.Android hdAndy Rubin apparently demoed theAndroid operating system running on the device and apps like Hangouts conferencing.The Google device Mr. Rubin showed was different than Chromecast, a Web-to- connector Google announced Wednesday.The report doesn’t mention whether Google scrapped the devicein favor of Chromecast, but notes itincludes a broader set of ftures compared to Google’s new dongle.One of these people said the device allowed people to strm YouTube s, watch shows or from the Google Play digital-programming store, and access Android apps such as games or, potentially, digital media services such as Netflix and Pandora.Google currently doesn’t make Google boxes.Instd, the company partners with vendors such as and Logitech who get to build and market these boxes. If WSJ is right and Google is building its own living-room device, the likes of , and others should be worried a lot.
’s new Xbox One console includes Kinect as standard.Don’t you think for a secondthe company is going to sit on the sidelines as , Google and others make advances in the living room. Whether or not builds a full-on television set or simply continues cramming ftures into its existing $99 hoc puck hardware is irrelevant.At this point, has filed for just too manypatentsforlit remotes, indiingits interest in the sector goes beyond a hobby project after all. And as the firm continues“pulling the strings”, its executives led by the chief media negotiator Eddy Cue continue trying out different strategies with content owners.Options on the table range from apps likeWatchESPN and HBO Goto a rumoredad-skipping technologytolive strming dlswith thelikes of Time Warner Cable.It remains to be seen if television networks will relent and let disrupt the status quo.At the end of the day, the game will come down to who throws more money at those unwanted allies in Hollywood.

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