Google TV: Step toward TV as home health hub

By Brian Dolan
Share

Brian Dolan, Editor, MobiHealthNewsMore than a year ago, Chuck Parker, The Continua Health Alliance’s executive director told a group of attendees at a healthcare industry event that Continua considered the television set-top box as one potential hub for wireless health devices.

At the end of 2009, Bluetooth SIG executive director Mike Foley told MobiHealthNews that he had noticed an uptick in interest from television makers looking at ways to embed Bluetooth LE into new TV models. Bluetooth LE could work with remote controls for the televisions, but other devices, including mobile phones and Bluetooth-enabled medical devices could then connect to the TV set to display incoming calls or personal health data, Foley explained. Given the television industry's product lifecycles, however, Foley said that industry's Bluetooth LE adoption was likely a few years out.

Fast-forward to May 2010: Google announced Google TV, which promises to combine "the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet." Google TV is built on the Android OS and Google's Chrome browser, which means Android apps will run on Google TV user's televisions.

During the demo of Google TV at the Google I/O event, the company connected its various devices via Bluetooth, which led to some disastrous issues. After repeated connectivity problems, Google reps asked attendees at the event to turn off their cell phones so they could carry out the demo.

Google said it was working with Sony, Logitech and Intel to put Google TV inside of televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes. Google said these devices will go on sale this fall, and will be available at Best Buy stores nationwide.

Demo issues aside, Google TV with Android apps, Web connectivity and (maybe) Bluetooth connectivity is certainly a step toward the television becoming the home health hub for wireless devices and mobile apps.