Yahoo! has announced partnerships with Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics and VIZIO to launch an internet widget-based function for the TV.
TV devices produced by these partnerships will be powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine, a fifth-generation applications platform that enables viewers to interact with a set of “TV Widgets.”
TV Widgets enable internet services and online media to reach an audience with applications specifically tailored to the needs of the individual viewer.
The creation of the Widget Engine builds on Yahoo! and Intel’s Widget Channel, a joint inititiave to foster innovation in the connected TV space, launched in August 2008.
Yahoo, in partnership with Intel, has also released the Widget Development Kit (WDK) to enable developers to create TV Widgets.
“Yahoo! has combined key attributes of the Internet, including openness, community, and personalisation, with the power of television,” said Patrick Barry, Vice President, Connected TV, Yahoo!. “By creating this revolutionary new Internet experience, and combining our technology with the global distribution of major consumer electronics partners, we enable consumers to access the relevant information and content to enhance their television watching experience.”
“Consumers are increasingly looking for a richer TV experience, including the ability to integrate personalised 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.”
The service will be available in multiple countries from spring 2009.
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