With the success of Google’s latest ChromeCast dongle, the living foray is just beginning. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google may have broader plans for your living room’s HDTV as it tries to better integrate existing Google services on the larger screen. Another potential for the living room, besides being able to display videos and potentially Google Docs documents in the future onto the large screen, is the ability to transform your living space into a boardroom. The Journal reported that earlier this year former Android head Andy Rubin had demoed a set-top box that included a camera for video-conferencing. That box would hook up with apps and services, like Pandora, and the webcam can be used with Google Hangouts.
Additionally, there would also be a motion sensor as well, which could indicate a new gesture-based method that Google may be exploring for controlling the living room experience. Android partner Samsung had already launched an HDTV that can be commanded with voice, a standard remote control, or with gestures as well.
Given Rubin’s departure from the Android team, it’s unclear if such a system is currently being in development still. It was rumored that the new set-top box would be shown off at Google I/O, but given the developer conference had passed, the fate of a Google Hangouts–either for personal or professional purposes–over an HDTV is unclear.
Additionally, earlier in the week, it was reported that Google had already begun trialing Hangouts for commercial purposes to extend its utility. One such example could be a person setting up an educational class with Hangouts, and subscribers can pay a fee to take the lessons, which would be handled through Google Wallet. This solution could be great with a larger HDTV-based Hangouts set-top box.
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