Intel and Yahoo unveiled a combination of the Intel Media Processor CE3100 ("Canmore") and the Yahoo open widget-based platform for TV and an initiative to embed applications - and ads - directly on your HDTV.
Dubbed the Widget Channel, Intel execs believe the technology is the key to bridging the Internet-TV gap, said Eric Kim, Intel senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Home Group during a keynote at the Intel Developer Forum here.
The Intel-Yaho partnership either will require a set-top box, or the Canmore platform integrated directly into the TV. At press time, the price or availability of such set-top boxes was not known, but Kim said a set-top box would cost "substantially less" than the $300 charged by Sony for a similar device. The technology could also be built directly in to TVs, Blu-ray players, or other devices.
The experience includes a "river of widgets" residing at the bottom of the HDTV TV screen, allowing full immersion into the Internet from the couch. The river of widgets appears to cycle through from left to right, and can include integration with Flickr, stock prices, or other widgets.
At the core of the software platform is the Yahoo Widget Engine, also known as Konfabulator, now in its fifth generation, Barry said. It's the same engine used for Yahoo's desktop PC widgets, so desktop widgets will apparently work.
Intel CE Solutions Alliance as a means of combining the expertise of hardware, software, and other solutions providers. The Yahoo-Intel partnership is a global one, although the U.S. will be the launch region.
Although the technology is available now, it will have to wait for actual OEM product commitments. None were mentioned.