A good chunk of Google TV runs inside a browser. Besides the main menu, everything else like the search, web apps, and a lot more are simply webpages and search queues. This means that you can essentially try out the service — or integrate some of it into your HTPC — right now. This hit me shortly after I posted our full review and I managed to grab the URLs of two of Google TV’s main products: TV Search & Spotlight.
Google TV Search is the platform’s secret sauce and would be crazy useful outside of the product, but alas, those URLs seem to self destruct after a few quick minutes. Still, most people are smarter than I, so I pasted the link below anyway, with the hope someone can deconstruct them and find out something useful. Just don’t bother navigating to it, it won’t show the awesome search tool.
Google TV is now out there in the wild. There’s no indication of how it’s selling just yet, but my hunch is that like early Android, it may be some time before sales really take off. That shouldn’t be too surprising considering that the platform is built on top of Android. But there aren’t a lot of apps and sites yet that are tailored for these new devices. They need more. And they know the way to get them. Free giveaways!
As they’ve announced on their Google TV blog today, the search giant is giving away 10,000 Google TV units to developers. Yes, 10,000.
The give-away started this morning at the Adobe MAX conference where they dished out 3,000 units. And it will continue over the next couple of weeks as Google will patrol the Google Code forums to look for developers who sound even remotely interested in developing for the platform. Or you can submit a request to get a unit for development.
As we’ve always said, the coolest thing about Google TV is that we don’t even know what the coolest thing about it will be. The experience is in the hands of its users and developers, and everyone is invited. Come play.
The Google TV unit being given away is the Logitech Revue, a device which normally sells for $300.
Sadly, this giveaway is U.S.-only for the time being. And yes, they want some sort of proof that you are actually a developer that plans to make an app or optimized site for the platform. I’m thinking about learning Java to build a solid fart app for the platform to get a free unit myself.
While Apple’s back was turned prepping for its October 20th Keynote, one hacker going by the handle p0sixninja decided to put the Greenpois0n jailbreak to the test and officially jailbreak the new Apple TV. P0sixninja, aka Joshua Hill, used a as-yet unreleased version of the hacking software, that also jailbreaks iPads and iPhones. As you can see from the picture he posted proudly on his Twitter, the Greenpois0n hack was a success, with the software appearing in the Apple TV menu.
Now that the new Apple TV can be effectively hacked, it’s just a matter of time before we see what apps hackers will be able to put on the device. According to Chronic Dev–the guys behind Greenpois0n–using Cydia will allow hackers to put whatever they want on the Apple TV, as well as keeping the device’s functionality (and even some aesthetics). Think of all your most useful everyday iPhone/iPad apps that you could have on your TV now!
Which apps would you want to put on a jailbroken Apple TV? Fire off in the comments below.
Toshiba to launch no-glasses 3D TV this year in Japan – toshiba, consumer electronics, CEATEC – Good Gear Guide
Toshiba to launch no-glasses 3D TV this year in Japan
Toshiba is readying two 3D televisions that can produce images with the illusion of depth but don’t require the user to wear glasses, it said Monday. It will launch the televisions in Japan in December. By dispensing with glasses, the TVs answer a key complaint of would-be buyers — but they won’t come cheap.
Toshiba will offer a 12-inch model and a 20-inch model. They’ll cost around ¥120,000 (US$1,430) and ¥240,000 respectively. Toshiba didn’t announce launch or pricing plans for markets outside of Japan.
The company is waiting on larger screens before it launches the TVs outside of Japan, said Masaaki Oosumi, president of Toshiba’s digital media network unit, at a news conference. Markets such as the U.S. demand televisions with screen sizes starting at about 40 inches, making these first models a little small.
3D TVs can simulate depth because they deliver a slightly different image to each eye. In current 3D TVs, images for each eye are displayed rapidly one after the other. Filters in the glasses flash on and off in sync with the TV picture so the right eye sees one image and the left eye sees the next.
Toshiba’s new TVs have a thin sheet of small lenses in front of the display.
Behind this lens screen is a custom-developed LCD (liquid crystal display) panel. Each screen has 8.29 million pixels — four times the number of pixels in a conventional “full HD” television — organized into groups of nine pixels of each color. The nine lenses split light from each bank of pixels and send it to nine points in front of the TV
If the viewer sits in one of these sweet spots they get the 3D illusion.
The nine spots should enable several family members to watch a 3D image at the same time.
The set-up means that despite the large number of pixels in the screen, the resulting picture seen in each of the nine spots is equivalent to a 720p high-definition image, said Toshiba.
Similar technology is used in Nintendo’s recently announced 3DS handheld gaming device. The 3DS has a screen from Sharp and sends the image to just one spot — something that isn’t a problem with a handheld
Toshiba unveiled the new TVs on the eve of the Ceatec electronics show. At the event the company is also demonstrating the same glasses-less technology on a 56-inch prototype TV.
The need to wear special glasses has been a common complaint about early 3D televisions. The glasses are required for each viewer, they generally weigh more than a typical pair of eye glasses, and because they contain an electronic circuit, they also need to be regularly recharged.
Toshiba’s no-glasses 3D is making headlines at Ceatec. We give it a viewing test
It hasn’t even been a year since 3D televisions and their accompanying 3D glasses began hitting store shelves, but a development by Toshiba is already threatening to make the 3D glasses obsolete. On Monday the company became the first major television maker to announce TVs that produce pictures with the illusion of depth but don’t require glasses.
That should come as great news to consumers, many of whom have expressed reluctance at donning a special pair of glasses to watch a TV show, but only if the televisions produce pictures that match or exceed the quality of current 3D TVs.
Toshiba is demonstrating the TVs at this week’s Ceatec electronics show in Japan, and on Tuesday we got a chance to compare them with current 3D TVs that require glasses.
The technologies employed by Toshiba and its competitors are very different, but they are both aimed at the same thing: tricking the eyes into seeing depth where there is none. The key to this is delivering a slightly different image to each eye.
In current 3D TVs, images for each eye are displayed rapidly one after the other. Filters in the glasses flash on and off in sync with the TV picture so the right eye sees one image and the left eye sees the next. The system requires the 3D glasses and a TV with additional hardware, but uses a standard LCD (liquid crystal display) panel
Toshiba’s TV, on the other hand, has a custom-designed screen. Color pixels have been rearranged into groups of nine of each color, and in front of each group is a lens that scatters the light in nine different directions. Thanks to the lenses, each of the viewers’ eyes will end up seeing light from different directions and that’s enough to create the illusion of depth.
So how does it look?
The demonstrations at Ceatec revealed a good-looking high-definition 3D picture, but like systems that require glasses, the technology is far from perfect.
To get the 3D image you first have to find a sweet spot from which to view it. The lenses are firing off light in many directions, so the 3D effect is better in some positions than in others. The viewing distance from the screen is also important. Toshiba says the optimal viewing distance for its 20-inch screen is 90 centimeters from the display, but it will work at greater distances.
Once a good viewing position is found — and it’s only a matter of moving your head a little to one side — the 3D images are easy to see. A fishing swimming past an underwater camera and a skier racing through the snow towards a camera produced easily discernible depth.
Buried a few paragraphs into my post a few days ago about how Android’s openness is giving the carriers a way to potentially ruin the platform, I noted the following tidbit of information I had heard:
Earlier this year, Verizon rolled out its own V Cast app store on some BlackBerry devices. This occurred despite the fact that BlackBerry devices have their own app store (App World). From what we’re hearing, Verizon is also planning to launch this store on their Android phones as well in the future. Obviously, this store would be pre-installed, and it would likely be more prominently displayed than Android’s own Market for apps.
A new report today from the blog Android and Me seems to confirm this information. Specifically, the report states that Verizon is already accepting submissions for their new V CAST App Store on Android — and that the store will exist outside of Android’s own Market. The best part? It will be a curated store (read: walled garden), much like Apple’s App Store rather than Android’s Market.
The upside is that this store will apparently be free (for developers to submit to, but there will be paid apps) and that it will be looped directly into carrier billing, meaning customers will be able to easily purchase apps. The standard 70/30 revenue share applies as well. And Verizon has a stated goal of accepting apps within 14 days (similar to Apple’s goals for app approvals).
The downside: initially, this store will apparently only be available on Android devices running Android 2.2 or later — and obviously only the ones on Verizon’s network. In other words, Verizon is building a better app store for Android to supplant the one Google made — but one that can only be used on some Android devices.
To underscore the point that Verizon is playing it as a better version of the Android Market, here’s two key bits from their release on the matter:
- As you know, merchandising your Android app through other channels can be a challenge
- Hands-on, Experienced Content Programming Team – Get the visibility you deserve, not just a quality-crushing algorithm!
Yep, that’s two direct shots at the market Google built for Android. Verizon is basically building Apple’s App Store for Android. Interesting.
On one hand, this, on top of Verizon’s recent use of Bing as the default search engine on their Android phones, indeed shows how open Android is. On the other hand, the fragmentation picture is getting very ugly, very fast. Expect plenty of customer confusion to follow — “what do you mean I can’t use the apps I bought on my Droid X on my new Android phone?”
Further, at the end of the day, it is still Google’s goal to make money with Android. If both their search and now their apps are being supplanted, what’s the point?