Google had plans to release a living room set-top box

GoogleEarlier this week, Google conducted a press event where they showed off their new Android upgrade, their Nexus 7 tablet and the already sold-out Chromecast. But that last one isn’t the only step into living room entertainment the company has taken.

The sneak peek was given at the Consumer Electronics Show in a private gathering of some attendees. Sources at the event told the Wall Street Journal that it was a set-top box with a camera and motion detector that connected to various Google services. Run on the Android OS, it links the user up to Google Hangouts, YouTube and other compatible web programs.

We have no name for this box yet, but it is an interesting contrast to the Chromecast. That device is a USB plugin that cheaply connects your TV to the web for easier streaming and syncing of your devices. That includes the ability to use your mobile phone or tablet as a remote control to manage content. At only $35 and three months of Netflix, it wasn’t surprising when people grabbed up every one available within 48 hours of its release.

This new set-top box would be a full entertainment system. Of course, that would mean a much higher price tag. But it would also mean additional features, and the motion detection makes me think that Google is making a grab for the motion based gaming genre.

Could this be the first step in gaming consoles from Google?

One thing is for certain: the company is really pushing to knock Apple out of the running for living room dominance. Though very popular, Android phones have never quite managed to beat out the iPhone, and neither have their tablets passed the prominence of the iPad.

This could genuinely be the area where they manage to wriggle into the top spot within the physical device market. Since Google already has such a wide share of online services, it makes sense that they would be the leaders in syncing that with more traditional forms of entertainment. They have a much better shot than the Apple TV ever did.

Still, Google isn’t saying anything and a spokeswoman for the web giant refused to comment. But that they showed off a prototype is a good indicator that a wider unveiling is on its way. This news was just too exciting not to spread.

As a bit of a Google fangirl – even though the more paranoid part of me hates my addiction – I can only wait with bated breath to see this for myself.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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