Friday, 18 November 2011

Google TV updates – heading in the right direction?

Discussing the Logitech Revue saga with brutal honesty in a recent investor day, Logitech’s CEO has made it obvious that Logitech have no plans for future Google TV products. With Sony hinting at doing the same, the recent announcement of an updated Google TV may not have as much traction as hoped, despite LG’s hints of a Google TV product.

There’s no need to re-hash the criticisms that have been levelled at Google TV. However, there’s one important point to note: the presence of a mouse pointer, the “lean forward” experience of searching for content and the complicated remote control all point to an experience that’s designed for the PC rather than the TV. Google’s focus on “apps” for version 2.0 may not correct this, and potentially repeats their earlier mistake: TV is a “lean back” experience for the vast majority of people, as we’ve commented previously

If people do want to interact with their TV, are the apps on offer compelling enough? While there’s only a small number of apps available at present, this will not be about having vast numbers of apps to choose from: it’s about having the right apps that work in the right way for a TV audience. With nearly 50% of people now using a companion device while watching TV, apps-on-TV may not be enough to review Google TV’s fortunes given the prevalence of companion devices with richer user interaction models.

Both Logitech and Google failed to read the TV market. Logitech have admitted that and learned from it: the question is, has Google learned the right lessons?

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