Media

Upcoming Google TV box will have Airplay-like features — from an unlikely source

One feature that’s been noticeably absent from Google TV, Google’s connected-TV platform, is something akin to Apple’s AirPlay,  which allows iPad and iPhone the ability to stream content directly to Apple TV. But the little-known Taiwanese manufacturer Honeywld is working to change that.

Its upcoming Google TV set-top box will be able to receive streaming content directly from Android tablets and smartphones, the company told IDGNews. This will allow users to very easily move content from smaller screens to their televisions.

Alongside video, the device will also be able to synchronize other media content like music and pictures. To do this, users will have to install a special app onto their smartphones and tablets that will allow the streaming. Honeywld says the app is still in development.

On the hardware side, the device comes equipped with 1GB RAM, 4GB flash storage, a MicroSD card slot, and HDMI and Ethernet ports.

There are some complications, however. First, Honeywld is a tiny, tiny company, and its staff of 40 people won’t be able to bring the box’s production up to a global scale. To solve this, the company told IDG that it hopes to get a larger company to buy it from them and resell it globally.

There’s also the very real chance that Google will include the streaming functionality in the next version of the Google TV OS, which will make whatever Honeywld rolls out pretty superfluous.

Google’s response to this notion was, predictably, pretty vague. “We see lots of potential in having all of your living room devices work together, whether that’s from us or from our growing developer community,” a Google TV spokesperson told VentureBeat. What this means for the future is anyone’s guess, but it still seems pretty likely that Google would introduce the streaming feature in the future.

There’s also the matter of price. Honeywld plans to sell the device for somewhere around $100, which seems like a lot to ask for a device that only has 4GB of flash storage.

But what’s good news here is that manufacturers, even the tiniest of ones, haven’t yet given up hope on Google’s television ambitions. With some high-profile failures, it’s been a tough road for Google TV, but if the recent resurgence on support is any indication, the platform could be on its way back up.

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