Last week at Google I/O, Google TV was announced by the company, along with its launch partners DISH Network, Sony, Intel, Adobe, Best Buy, and Logitech. Just after the unveiling presentation was given, WebProNews spoke with Ashish Arora, the Vice President and General Manager of Logitech Digital Home, about Logitech’s role in the service.
The phrases "open platform" and "seamless" were used by various executives from all of the companies involved throughout the whole day, and Logitech was no exception. Logitech does bring a unique perspective to the launch, however, as the company is known for its peripherals around the PC, as well as in the living room.
"We believe in open platforms," Arora tells WebPronews. "For a long time, we built a whole industry around the PC…when we first saw Google TV, we looked at it as a platform to innovate, and to build a new presence in the living room that consumers have never had before."
"We’ve actually been in the living room for the last five years (and maybe even before that). Today we are North America’s largest provider of universal remote controls. And what that allows you to do is to have seamless control of your home electronics and your consumer electronic devices. Having said that, the platforms in the living room today are still very closed, and again, when we saw Google TV, what we really liked about it was to take all the experiences that we had built around the PC and offer them in the living room."
Logitech will initially offer a companion box for Google TV – an external device that connects to your TV through an HDMI port and utilizes the company’s Harmony technology, as well as a controller specifically designed to take advantage of all of Google TV’s features.
"Because we’ve embedded the Harmony technology inside the Companion Box, what that allows us to do is to use all of the devices in the Android ecosystem, so instead of using your remote control, or another remote controller, you can actually use your Android phone, whether it’s a Droid or a Nexus One, and have activities or have ways to control the entire entertainment experience by just one touch. So if you want to watch TV, you just press ‘Watch TV’, your TV turns on, your set-top box turns on, your channels switch, and you’re watching TV enhanced by Google TV."
Google TV devices such as Logitech’s companion box/remote will be available sometime this fall. Arora says they’ll be sharing more info in the coming months. Pricing is yet to be announced.