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The Net on Your Family Room TV

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bringing the Internet onto your family room TV. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The idea of putting a full fledged computer into the family room....has never taken off the way some companies envisioned it would. Now, Intel is taking a different approach....partnering with Yahoo and a growing list of other content companies to bring what it calls The Widget Channel onto your TV. Dr. Genevieve Bell is an anthropologist who is the director of user experience for Intel's digital home group....

"We have incredibly strong and fond relationships with our TVs and anything that disrupts that is a very bad thing. And part of the love there is it's about a non-demanding relationship, you don't have to do a lot of work to get to something you care about. And so as we started to think about what it might be like to bring the Internet into the television space, so not bring a computer into the living room, but bring the Internet into television, we really had to think about how do you bring the Internet into manageable pieces that made sense in a television space. This wasn't about necessarily bringing a browser onto your TV screen. It was about bringing the pieces of the Internet that make sense in a television space and about letting television dominate. One of the innovations that we were really kind of determined to do is to make sure that this Widget Channel could appear and disappear off your screen very easily. So that it didn't take over television. So there's a one button toggle that basically brings it onto your screen and takes it away again, so that if what you're really doing is watching television, it doesn't have to disrupt you."

Intel is making chips that can go into set top boxes...or DVD players for instance...to make the TV Widget Channel a reality. Some may arrive by mid-year. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.