Jul 26th, 2013

Chromecast featured 2

According to a report from the WSJ, Google has been developing another accessory for your television, this one a set-top box with an emphasis on Hangouts thanks to a built-in webcam. This device, which apparently is more like Roku than it is Google TV or Chromecast, was previewed in a hush-hush presentation at CES all the way back in January of this year.

While Hangouts would be a big part of the experience, the device would also be capable of running Android apps and games as well as streaming media. The only question left is whether this device evolved, shed some features, and launched as what we now know as Chromecast, or if Chromecast is just the beginning. Could a third Google device be headed for our living rooms?

It’s definitely curious. Both Chromecast and the features of the in-development box could both have easily been baked into Google TV, an established (if not all that successful) brand under the Google umbrella. Three devices each accomplishing similar goals seems to be introducing the same sort of fragmentation we see with Android into the living room. Of course, should Google launch a third television product, they will likely talk about how there is a place for all three devices on the market, or how certain consumers have different needs and Google just wants to meet all of them

Should this pan out, it sounds more like Google is throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Not the smartest strategy, but hey, it’s Google. They can pretty much do whatever they want.

[via WSJ]