Friday, 14 November 2008



Yahoo and Intel to Bring Interactive Applications to TV Sets
Intel and Yahoo said Wednesday that they are teaming up to bring Web-style interactive applications to television sets. The joint effort is one of many aimed at bringing interactivity to television, a concept that has been trumpeted for years but has seen little consumer adoption so far.

At Intel’s conference for developers in San Francisco, Intel unveiled a new “system on a chip” meant for consumer electronic devices like set-top boxes and digital TVs. Yahoo will provide a software platform that will allow small programs, called “widgets,” to run on those devices.

Yahoo already offers a software platform that allows developers to create widgets for PC desktops and cell phones. The small programs allow people to track news, weather or sports scores, receive e-mails, watch Web videos or photos, or bid on eBay auctions, for example. The software for the Intel systems will be based on the same platform.

The two companies will also create a “Widget Channel” that will be available on TVs and set-top boxes. It will allow consumers to use their remote control to pick and choose the widgets they want to use to “complement and enhance the traditional TV watching experience and bring content, information and community features available on the Internet,” the companies said.

Yahoo plans to create its own TV widgets for services like Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance and Flickr.

The widget system is slated to be ready in 2009, said Yahoo spokesman Lucas Mast. Mr. Mast noted that Intel needs to complete “silicon components” of the system while Yahoo needs to finish the software.

Finally, makers of TVs or set top boxes have to agree to use the Intel system, he said. The agreement with Intel is not exclusive, Mr. Mast said.

Intel and Yahoo said they are working with a group of companies that plan to develop and deploy TV widgets. The companies include Blockbuster, CBS, eBay, Joost, Twitter, Samsung Electronics and Toshiba.

Comcast, the U.S's largest cable TV provider, also said it is working with Intel to integrate the widget technology into its set-top box standard, called tru2way.

source: New York Times.

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