One of the things that most excited me out the Google I/O event a couple weeks back was Google TV. It’s a set top box that brings a lot of web content to the TV. But what really excites me about it is that it’s an Android platform, that will have access to the market place. Having this announce come out a couple days after I pushed my first Android app out got me even more excited about the platform.
In my house I’ve got the following devices: a thermostat that’s attached to my home network, with a web interface that lets me adjust the temperature and programs; a TED 5000 energy monitor which is on my home network; a set of weather station sensors that I’m collecting data from on my home server. Each of these have some web interfaces, non consolidated, to get data, and small little screens on the respective devices to go and see what’s going on. And in my living room I’ve got a 42″ TV, with brilliant color.
I want all these various home sensors and actuators to show up on my TV, and for me to be able to control them from there. I keep looking at my logitech harmony remote and really thinking that I should be able to use channel up / down to adjust the temperature in my house when we’re hanging out on the couch watching TV. Not that many months ago, intrigued by how the Netflix Instant Bluray disc worked, I started looking into the Bluray Java spec, and realized that if I had to I could probably build a disc for my PS3 that would do most of this, but it would be pretty custom, and the dev / test cycle would burn through a lot of bluray media. I tried to download the Popbox SDK to see if they’d give me what I want, but they’ve made it impossible for me to actually do that.
Google TV is going to give me a set top box in my living room that will let me get access to a wide range of content, which will be great, but also let me publish my own code to it. As a creator of software, having that application channel, even for only my own use, is just incredible. The fact that it will share a lot of characteristics with my phone makes it all the better.
I really can’t wait until Logitech gets it’s box out there, and I’ve got something to experiment with. Having my livingroom TV be the nerve center of my home is a concept that seems so natural, and I’m surprised has taken this long to bring us this kind of tech.