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Last week, Google TV sounded like a mere side project. Now, it's an impending reality.  Google has partnered with Sony and Intel to invade your living room television, reports The New York Times. The idea is to bring Web services like Twitter, YouTube, Google search and apps to the TV. Working together, the companies plan to roll out a new generation of set-top boxes and televisions. The TV's software will be open source and third party programmers will receive toolkits for developing apps "in the next couple of months," reports The Times. While there are reasons to be skeptical of Google's new endeavor, many are hoping for a few futuristic features out of Google TV.

  • A Smartphone Remote  The problem with bringing the Web to your living room is that no one wants to surf and read text 10 feet away from the screen, explains Ian Paul at PC World. "One possible solution would be the ability to take your Nexus One, iPhone, or even iPad and turn it into a visual remote," writes Paul. "Imagine looking at a Web page on your mobile device and then having your handset navigation reflected on your television? That way you could easily read a news story on the screen in your hand, and then view the news story's accompanying video on your TV. Now that would be a killer combination."
  • An Open Source Innovation Lab for TV  Though generally skeptical of Google TV, Aaron Turpen likes how it will be an open-source platform that can run third-party apps. He's excited about the potential for developer innovation: "What Google seems to want to bring the mix is to base the whole thing on the Android platform.  That would be interesting, since it would leave it open to developers to create all kinds of nifty apps and wizbangs for the setup."
  • TV on Steroids, writes pkoutoul at Lifehacker: "The killer app would be a site/service that would aggregate all the free and not free television content available on the Web, and make it easy to watch live, schedule for later, and manage purchases in one place, regardless of where the programming originated. Think iTunes for television. Goodbye cable. Goodbye satellite. Goodbye overpriced packages that force me to pay for the 75% of the programming I never watch. Hello, 21st century."
  • Integration with Social Media  "The partners envision technology that will make it as easy for TV users to navigate Web applications, like the Twitter social network and the Picasa photo site, as it is to change the channel," writes Nick Bilton at The New York Times.

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