If Google is actually serious about reinventing TV, it should have done something about the remote control, too.The images we’ve seen about the remote that Sony will supposedly be offering for its Google TVs are mind boggling. A big hunk of plastic with a million buttons. As we said earlier, it looks like something out of a Sharper Image catalogue from the 1980s.
Google and Sony should have skipped the buttons altogether and taken advantage of the fact that there is a massive, hi-def screen in front of our faces, capable of acting as the only user interface we need for our TV sets.
Paired with a remote control similar to the Nintendo Wii controller — a wand for pointing — the best, most futuristic remote in the world could be no remote. Virtual keyboards are good enough for typing in a word or two of a show or movie name — no one’s going to be writing novels on their TVs.
Instead, as a commenter notes, this thing looks like something better suited for flying radio control aeroplanes.
To be sure, maybe this isn’t the main remote for Sony’s Google TV. Maybe it will announce an on-screen remote option. (Sony — some part of Sony, at least — has already licensed this type of technology from a company called Hillcrest Labs.)
Or maybe something like the Wii wand would be too expensive or take too long to develop — perhaps Google and Sony had to rush just to get this ready for the holidays.Bigger picture, the success or failure of Google TV will be based on many more features than remote controls, such as price, user interface, and even bigger picture, whether mainstream consumers even want to blend the Internet with their TV experience. (Many say they don’t.)
But this Sony beast shows us one thing: Still, no one is thinking much about evolving the remote control.