At its I/O developer conference today, Google introduced a new hardware device that streams music and video to a variety of Wifi-connected devices. A black orb with a glowing blue stripe, the Nexus Q is not just pretty, it’s Apple-quality pretty. In fact, as AllThingsD reports, its two main developers boast Apple design pedigrees.
But design isn’t everything. Functionality and already-established technology habits could derail the Nexus Q’s goal of catching up to the success of Apple’s iTunes store.
The Third Degree
About a week ago, a GigaOm writer Janko Roettgers stumbled across something big: an integration that would allow anyone who owns a Boxee Box to watch live broadcast TV over the device without having to switch back-and-forth between inputs.
Now, Boxee is finally prepared to speak about the feature. In January, the company will start selling a USB dongle that transforms the antenna on the Boxee Box into a tuner to capture free over-the-air HD TV signals from channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. The dongle is a one-time cost of $49 and the company is currently taking pre-orders.
So that’s a little more expensive than your typical digital converter box, which also lets you get free live broadcast TV. But you get some special social juice with Boxee, plus everything in one unit with one remote control.
Betabeat spoke to Boxee founder and CEO Avner Ronen yesterday about why he thinks this could be a tipping point in getting consumers to cut–or at least shave–the cord.
One Remote to Rule Them All
Here’s an interesting KickStarter project that veers from the crowdfunding site’s artsy, steampunk aesthetic.
Convergence Technologies, a consumer electronics company based in New York, is using KickStarter to raise money to develop and manufacture a device called The Bridge, “an all-in-one wireless keyboard, mouse and universal remote for computers, Smart TVs and home entertainment systems.”
The project, which already has 63 backers towards its $59,000 goal comes at the same time that Logitech’s CEO seriously dissed a similar-sounding universal remote for Google TV.
We’ve know for a little while that Hulu had some suitors, with Microsoft and Yahoo named among the early aspirants.
Today news broke that Google is also interested, and web TV insiders say Hulu would be a great fit for the search giant.
“It’s funny because that was my first guess,” said one source. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Google emerges in the next few years as the biggest competitor to Time Warner and Comcast.”