The connected home has been an emerging theme at this year’s CES. Yahoo! is leading the way with their Connected TV initiative.
In previous blog posts you may have read about Yahoo! Widgets appearing in consumer electronics by five manufacturers – LG, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Vizio. All five are using the very same Yahoo! Widget engine to run Yahoo!’s clean and crisp widgets. Collectively there are 20 widgets being shown at CES, from MySpace to CBS, with many more in development. Yahoo! says that any developer can write a widget app and have it appear on one of the five manufacturers’ devices.
Yahoo!’s open platform approach should be hailed as a step in the right direction. The widgets go far beyond simple traffic reports, RSS feeds, and photos. With widgets by CBS, Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, Showtime and many others, digital content can be streamed directly to your TV – giving the consumer even more flexibility in the way they receive their content.
But we must be cautiously optimistic. Yahoo! has given OEM manufacturers a minimum requirement so that their devices can run the widgets. It is up to the manufacturer to decide how much flexibility & capability they give their devices (for example, if the widget uses Flash video, the device must be able to play Flash).
Lastly, the OEM manufacturers have the last say on which widgets make it to their devices. Yahoo! will put widgets in their gallery and from there they are sent to the OEM for approval. If the widget conflicts with company contracts or policy then the widget may not appear. Exclusive widgets may allow for differentiation among the brands, but too much isolation and restriction may be a ‘turn off’ for consumers.
Where to see it:
- Renaissance 26, South 4