Jan 12th, 2011

We’ve seen Google TV come polished with Sony Internet TV and the Logitech Revue. While they haven’t caught on like we hoped and expected, I still view television as a growth market for Android and the Google TV platform in general. A company at CES called Cideko (warning: site has annoying music) definitely agrees- they built a box and accessory “Air Keyboard” that allows you to access Android on your television.

I was incredibly impressed with the polish for a device currently without a distribution partner:

Unlike the never-ending list of crappy Android tablets at CES, Cideko’s products were well thought out, looked gorgeous, functioned perfectly, and the hardware build was fantastic. I’m looking forward to a big name brand or distributor working closer with Cideko- they’re definitely headed in the right direction whereas a number of Android manufacturers are on the wrong path.

The handheld Air Keyboard demoed in the video is very much like the controller for Sony Internet TV but perhaps even better. The buttons have a great feel, the left/right click concept is simple, but most of all the Wii-like movement of the controller moving the on screen pointer/mouse was very convenient. I was using it from point-blank range so I wonder how far away it would hold up the same level of accuracy in motion.

An interesting thing to note about Cideko is that they seemed to be running on Android 2.2. That means not only is this NOT a Google TV device although it seems to function similarly to one (without the TV portion, you would need to switch inputs), but it’s not even running Android 3.0 which is optimized for larger screens like tablets. But still, Cideko’s products held their own and using them was a pleasure compared to much of the Android junkware that clogged up the aisles of CES.

Apparently Cideko already has a bunch of products available on Amazon through various vendors such as Satechi, selling items like their Cideko Air Keyboard Wireless Media Keyboard & Gyro Mouse. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the times we demoed at CES on Amazon. Hopefully in due time… they were definitely fun to take for a test drive.

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