Intel has announced that the company is to collaborate with Yahoo! to bring internet to people’s televisions.
Intel and Yahoo! yesterday previewed plans for a TV application they’re calling the Widget Channel. The Widget Channel will allow television viewers to make use of specially designed internet apps while they’re watching they’re favorite shows and is based on Intel Architecture.
The applications, or Widgets, will enable consumers to do a whole bunch of things while they’re watching telly, which we guess may or may not distract them from the program they’re watching. Viewers can use the Widgets to watch videos, track their favorite stocks or sports teams, chat with friends, or stay up to date with news.
One of the cool things is that the Widgets are customizable and based on some already really popular services like Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, Blockbuster and eBay that users have already personally configured to match their needs, however it’s not exactly clear as to whether users will be able to use their already customized versions of these services as a Widget or if they’ll have to start from scratch.
TV Widgets are sort of similar to iPhone applications in the sense that developers will be able to design their own Widgets (using Java, XML, HTML and Flash). Widgets will be published in a Widget gallery, which users can access and pick and choose the applications they want to use.
The two companies predict viewers will be able to use TV Widgets to “deepen their enjoyment of the programming they are watching, discover new content and services, or share their favorites with friends and family”. We think it’s more likely that Yahoo! sat up and took notice when Apple CEO, Steve Jobs announced that the App Store was expected to be a billion dollar venture in the not so distant future and wanted a piece of the pie.