Myriad Group is probably best known for creating a solution that brings Android apps to some decidedly non-Android devices, and it looks like the Zurich-based company has set their sights on app-ifying yet another screen in your life: your television.
Sorry tweakers, this isn’t the sort of thing you’ll spend a weekend hacking together. Rather, Myriad’s new Alien Vue software (powered by the now familiar Alien Dalvik) is meant for television service providers looking for a bit of an edge against the robust media experiences that Google and Apple can deliver.
Don’t expect unfettered access to the Android Market, though: a Myriad rep tells me that Alien Vue is only compatible with about 80% of the Android apps that are available in the Market. Alien Vue is also compatible with HTML5 web apps, and plays especially well with Android apps that were designed for use with Google TV. Service providers can customize and rebrand their own Alien Vue individual app stores too, and it seems that the app selection will remain consistent even across companies.
According to Myriad, use of the Alien Vue service doesn’t require any additional hardware beyond your existing set-top box, though the service does play nice with Android tablets if you were looking to control your media while skimming TechCrunch.
Some television providers have already played with the concept of delivering apps to customers (DIRECTV comes to mind), but in those cases, apps have to be specifically written for that platform. That in and of itself isn’t a huge stumbling block, as apps on TV are still likely to be seen as more of a novelty than an actual desired feature. Still, being able to capitalize on apps that already have established audiences is an interesting twist, especially when those apps are being delivered from your cable company instead of a hardware vendor.
It’s an ambitious idea (and one I never expected from Myriad), but we’ll have to see how well it performs if/when a television provider decides to run with it in the coming months.