Maybe Apple should've spent a little more time tinkering with its "hobby" project, Apple TV--Google, Sony, and Intel are jockeying to steal its position at the heart of your digital entertainment system. This week they'll launch a Smart TV project.
Big rumors are that Google's executive team is due to reveal its plans during this week's developer conference in San Francisco. It'll be dubbed Smart TV, and it will built on the ever-growing trend toward Internet-enabled television by combining Sony's electronics with chips from Intel and software from Google. In particular Intel will be leveraging its Atom CPUs pretty much as we'd heard they were trying to (the latest versions of which are capable of full-HD video powers), and Google will be trying to expand its Android domain into yet another field of technology.
Intel's chief exec Paul Otellini gave hints of this last week, during a speech to analysts where he said "The revolution we're about to go through is the biggest single change in television since it went color." Meanwhile, 9to5Mac is connecting the dots, and thinks that the technology will be augmented by Nvidia GPUs, specifically the second-gen Tegra chips.
Among the potential products: a dedicated Google-powered set top box built by Sony aimed at beating out existing offerings; a range of Sony TVs with an Internet card inside. Tough to say yet. We do know that the home is the next battleground for computing--and that the hottest ticket in the consumer PC industry at the moment, Apple, is well aware of this. Its iPad was hyped as a mobile easy-access system for the Net and entertainment, but it's also clearly destined to be a device very often used in the home. And the stagnated Apple TV project is actually already occupying a similar market to that which Smart TV is clearly aimed at: Perhaps this is one business zone where Google has seen Apple make an entrance, and fail, or at least achieve only moderate success, unlike the iPhone's and iPad's markets.