Intel And Yahoo Want To Bring Widgets (And The Internet) To Your TV

Intel and Yahoo have announced plans for a new “Widget Channel”, a widget platform for consumer electronic devices running on Intel’s hardware. The platform will support a number of current technologies, including JavaScript, HTML, XML, and mostly notably Adobe’s ubiquitous Flash, which many current platforms on CE devices don’t support.

The two companies envision a library of small widgets that will be included alongside standard television content. For example, a user could use an eBay widget to monitor the current prices of their active auctions, or a sports widget to keep track of current scores.

The TV Widgets Channel continues to blur the line between a television and a computer with a big screen – it probably won’t be long before the distinction no longer exists. And while I could see some of the widgets coming in handy, they might also turn off a lot of users. For many people, television is an escape from the constant alerts and messages of today’s society. Interactive TV is a neat idea, but sometimes people just want to kick up their feet and relax.

If the new announcement does pique your interest, you probably won’t be seeing it in action any time soon. The widget platform makes use of the Intel Architecture, which isn’t integrated with current TVs. You’ll need to wait until you can get your hands on a device with the Media Processor CE 3100, which was also announced today. The system-on-chip solution will enable 3D graphics and a “fusion of Internet and TV experiences” on cable boxes and TV’s, along with other consumer devices.