The new Google entertainment device that was unearthed in the media this week seems to be generating a lot of excitement for a still undefined product. It's a Google home entertainment system for streaming music, or videos, or both. The implications could be big for tie-ins to other Google items like YouTube videos, the Google Music Beta, Android Music and the Android Market, not to forget all of the custom Android apps. The Google+ social network could allow for real-time sharing, and of course this all points the Big Daddy of Google Search.
The "entertainment device" was first unearthed by GigaOm who said that Google wanted to "test a mysterious Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled “entertainment device,” in employees homes in four U.S. cities." This lead to articles from both the NY Times and Wall Street Journal, who outlined the idea a little more with the notion that it's not just about Google Search anymore, but spreading out into an ecosystem of products, as Apple and Amazon have done.
"As the Internet matures, the leading companies are trying to create full-fledged ecosystems to preserve their individual dominance. Amazon, which began as a retailer, now makes reading devices. Apple, which originally produced only hardware, now sells content," reads the article from NY Times.
eWEEK also talks about the challenge Google faces in being new to creating products, as well as standing out from all the others that already exist: “Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey told eWEEK Google's biggest challenge will be in explaining to people that whatever it wants to sell is a platform rather than a product. Such a device could get lost in the muddle of other home TV devices from Sonos, Roku and Logitech. “
The interesting thing here is how it could play into a Google ecosystem. The Google Music Beta is the obvious big item, offering the Google music player a chance to be streamed around the house as well as drive people towards the Android Market for Android Music purchases. Since Android is an open platform, this could also open the door for developers to create all sorts of Android apps. Sound familiar? Apple and Amazon do this, and each product or service drives people to another product or service, creating the ecosystem. As a user, we get a seamless experience to listen, buy and consume music with ease. Then think about all of the uses for Android phones and Android tablets, with more apps and integrated streaming ...
Not that it's all about music ... we can't forget that other big Google name ... YouTube. The possibility of watching YouTube videos and renting from the YouTube Video Rental Store, now called YouTube Movies, could also weigh in, as well as how this wireless "device" could also work with any new Google TV offering. Google has been working with their Google TV for a while now, and the current consensus is that they'll offer a revamped Google TV product sometime this year or next to compete with Apple TV and the famed Apple TV Set. This is the Google TV vs. Apple TV war we keep hearing about.
Lastly (but not leastly), this all has the possibility of integrating with Google+ social network, which seems to be one of Google's main areas of focus right now. Much like Facebook with their Facebook Music offering that allows for the sharing of what users are listening to via streaming music sites like Spotify, MOG, Rdio and Rhapsody; as well as the freshly launched Facebook music player now called “Listen with friends.” The Google Music Beta could act as a Google music player that can tell your Google+ peeps what you’re listening too.
Visit the Spacelab Guide to Streaming Music Sites for more information on Google Music and other streaming music services.