As tech companies continue to compete for the living room, Google is reportedly trying to enter the set-top market as well in order to compete against Apple, Roku, and others. The set-top box which is rumored to be in the works for a 2014 release will be based on Android however, Google is taking a different path than Apple in that it does not plan to come out with a physical television.
In comparison to current set-top boxes, the only thing that may set Google’s apart from the rest is that it will have some Android gaming features. Outside of the gaming features (which have not been elaborated on), the Android set-top box will provide users with access to various streaming services such as Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon, etc.
Though we have not heard about the set-top box in quite a while, the Wall Street Journal had reported a few months ago that some sort of motion control system would be built into an upcoming living room device. Along with motion controls, WSJ stated that Google was trying to include a camera in the set-top box, presumably for Google Hangouts.
The latest rumor has called the set-top box the Nexus TV, whether or not this will end up being the actual name given to the device has yet to be seen. All of the rumors surrounding this device seem plausible but at the same time, the set-top box market is already filled with established companies and outside of the motion controls, the Nexus TV does not sound as though it will offer much.
Google may end up unveiling the Nexus TV at CES 2014, especially if the search giant wants to push out the set-top box within the first six months of 2014.
By including a camera in the device, Google may be able to compete against Skype which has increased in popularity thanks to the Xbox Kinect.