Google TV has been unveiled this week at the Google I/O Conference, and it’s a doozy. It looks to combine your web, mobile and television experience, bringing pieces of the web to you, on-demand. Not only is it a new way to consume and experience your media, but it’s a new way to receive your search information.
One of Google’s biggest changes with Google TV is the way in which it delivers search results, linking back to several of its own apps and third party apps that run on its platform. It’s quite convenient, and it’s a major perk for consumers that will consider hopping on the Google TV bandwagon once the product line is released this fall.
It’s also great for marketers, as it restructures the opportunities for reaching consumers, particularly as location and personalized data can be incorporated into apps that operate based on your needs. Google has effectively created a system that’s layered over the web, with a pretty Google skin on it. It’s attractive, it’s convenient, and it may be the only format to successfully bring us the media and web experience we’ve sought for the past decade or so.
But at what cost? In an era where Facebook is dealing with high scrutiny from the media and regulatory groups regarding its privacy methods, Google’s own attempt at re-structuring our experience with the web may have its own long-term issues. While Facebook added instant personalization options for website owners and users to better interact with each other, Google is gearing up to launch an interconnected system that is already personalized.
In Google’s ability to provide such a robust offering through Google TV, Android 2.2, Chrome and all its other associated portals, the company is able to deliver better search results that aim to provide instant and direct answers. It does so by linking many of the access points its created, around you and others. Though this is certainly the way of the future, it also encourages the system to revolve around Google’s platform.
In the long run, this could create some issues for Google as it looks to maintain consumer privacy. Google already experienced the wrath of consumers when it launched Buzz, immediately updating the Twitter-like app to include more privacy options. And Google’s process for collecting the data that’s re-purposed and delivered back to consumers according to their needs is also in question, with German officials demanding answers and control over such data and its use.
While we still have a few months to ponder at the ultimate significance of Google TV, it’s clear that Google has the ability to change media consumption and the advertising methods around it. Google changed the web once, and it’s looking to do it again. As long as it continues to win the battle of compromising a bit of user privacy for the greater good, Google will continue to be a powerful force in our lives.