Friday, 13 January 2012

GoogleTV 12 Months On

This time last year I witnessed GoogleTV for the first time at CES 2011, my blog ‘Greetings from Vegas’ raised questions about whether consumers really want to interact using a keyboard and a mouse to watch TV. It’s been a challenging 12 months for GoogleTV with one of its first customers, Logitech, pulling out following poor consumer feedback. At CES this week I’ve seen a couple of Google 2.0 implementations. Sony has returned, which has been a surprise to some, while LG demonstrated its efforts for the first time.

After using both demonstrations it was interesting to see how they have both attempted to tackle the usability issues with new, innovative, remote controls. Both have squeezed a small QWERTY keyboard onto the back of the remote which still feels too small to be usable without reading glasses and small thumbs. For the control of the onscreen cursor LG have a wand style pointer while Sony has moved to a mouse touch pad. Sony has also added voice recognition for search and added motion control for games.

While the weeks demonstrations are an improvement on last year’s launch, it was notable that both suffered on-screen error messages on a regular basis, while they are of course only demo’s rather than finished products, it’s clear that there is still a considerable amount of work to be done to meet the hype of the GoogleTV marketing machine.

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