We recently reported that TV’s open data is way behind that of the music industry following our attendance at MIPCube’s TV Hack Day, however we also noted that there is real potential in the space.
With that in mind, Google has announced that it’s hooking up with the Silicon Valley Android Developers Group (SVAndroid) and the London Android Group (Londroid) to run two concurrent TV hackathons with a view towards creating fresh experiences for Google TV.
Google TV is a Smart TV platform which is its attempt at bringing its advertising into your livingroom by transforming your TV into an Internet video player, where the major networks’ shows can be searched for alongside YouTube videos, the Web and apps. It was announced in May 2010, and was co-developed by Google, Intel, Sony and Logitech. Logitech announced in November last year that it will stop making Google TV devices given that it had lost more than $100m in operating profits.
In its first ever Google TV Hackathon Weekend, Google will host the US event at its headquarters in Mountain View, California, where judges will include Blake Krikorian, co-founder and former CEO of Sling Media; Mark Mangiola, Venture Partner at Canaan Partners; and The Next Web’s very own Drew Olanoff, our West Coast Editor.
Kicking off on Friday April 20, when the ideas will be announced from each participant, the following day will be dedicated to seeing the teams’ ideas through to fruition, with sporadic breaks for demos and question-and-answer sessions. The concepts will be presented to the judges on the Sunday, with some of the prizes up for grabs including tickets to Google I/O. Tickets cost $20 and must be purchased by April 17 from here.
The London event will take place over the same weekend at Google Campus, the new co-working space created by the search giant for UK startups, with Android developers expected from all over Europe. You can get involved in the event by registering here.
The future of Google TV
Whilst we’ve previously pondered whether Google TV is doomed, Google has been tweaking the platform since launch, including ‘a new YouTube experience’ for Google TV, bringing in playlists and subscriptions, and we’ve also previously noted that it was becoming a more lean-back experience, with watching YouTube becoming more akin to watching regular TV.
So what does 2012 hold for Google TV? At LeWeb in early December, Eric Schmidt was on fine predictive form, saying: “By the summer of 2012, the majority of the (new) televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded.”
However, the luke-warm response (that’s being kind) to Google TV so far would likely preclude any TV market domination so soon, but as we know with Google, if at first it doesn’t succeed, well, you know the rest. Google didn’t give up with social, and it eventually built a pretty sound platform in the form of Google+.
Whether Google innovates from within, or snaps up some young punks with the brains to help it dominate the TV market, remains to be seen. But Google is Google – it will likely get there eventually. It might not be on most new TVs by this summer, but you can bet it will continue to use initiatives such as hackathons to get the developer community on board with the idea.