Yahoo!’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) Connected TV group today unveiled the next generation of technology and services for Internet-connected televisions. The company has forged partnerships with top CE manufacturers to launch a widget-based user experience for TV that brings the best of the Web to a broad range of living room devices. Powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine, these devices will enable the discovery and enjoyment of the Cinematic Internet via a new class of interactive applications called TV Widgets. TV Widgets enable popular Internet services and online media to reach viewers with applications specifically tailored to the needs of the television watcher.
From the press release:
In August, Yahoo! and Intel announced the Widget Channel, their joint initiative to foster innovation in the connected TV space. Building on that initiative, Yahoo! is announcing partnerships with top consumer electronics manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics and VIZIO. Products produced by these partnerships will enable the industry to bring an innovative Internet and TV experience to millions of consumers globally, starting as early as the spring of 2009. Reinforcing Yahoo!’s open strategy, the company today, in partnership with Intel, released the Widget Development Kit (WDK). This will enable developers to create TV Widgets and effectively reach millions of consumers and help foster the creation of a connected TV ecosystem.
Yahoo! Widget Engine
The TV Widget user experience, powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine, will be available in a variety of products, including a line of Internet-connected television sets manufactured by Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics and VIZIO and available in market as early as spring 2009. By working with the top consumer electronics manufacturers, Yahoo! will bring the exciting content developed by Yahoo! and third-party developers to millions of television sets in multiple countries in 2009.
From the press release:
“Consumers are increasingly looking for a richer TV experience, including the ability to integrate personalized Internet content and interactive experiences on the screen,” said Allen Weiner, Research VP, Gartner. “Those companies who succeed as leading TV 2.0 portals will be those well positioned to make the connected TV a reality through strong global partnerships, innovative technology and expertise in creating open platforms. Developers will have the tools to bring the best of the Internet to TV, thus increasing the amount of Internet-enabled content and services available and ultimately transforming the TV viewing experience for millions of consumers.”