Linux for Smart TV the MeeGo way
Analysts peg the Smart TV (akin to SmartPhone) segment is likely to grow at close 32 % in the following two years. This has thrown the gauntlet into the developers ring as there is immense opportunity to offer something unique and qualitatively different to the viewer.
Looking at new frontiers the Linux foundation that hosts the MeeGo project has set up the Working Group to provide the guidelines software components, platform standardization etc., so that the open source community can work within the frame work to offer competitive and differentiated content for Television. At this stage of discussion, a brief peek into MeeGo is necessary to understand the significance of the Working Group
What is MeeGo?
MeeGo is a trend setting Linux based mobile operating system for hardware components as varied as netbooks, nettops, tablet computers, mobile computing etc. so working around all embedded systems this is programmed in C++, saw the first release in May 2010, and released the latest stable end of last month. The RPM also supports ARM as well as the x86 platforms. The kernel type is the monolithic Linux and is the result of Moblin (the Intel developed mobile project) and Maemo (project developed by Nokia).
MeeGo was made to run various hardware platforms from hand held devices to gadgets in vehicles, television and netbooks. The core of MeeGo is shared amongst all the platforms but differs on the UX layers or the User Experience for each of the devices.
Why the interest in MeeGo?
The answer lies in their simple but high-compatible graphical user interfaces (read User experience, UX) that is driving the segment for embedded software. For netbook is the Evolution, Empathy and the Banshee that work through the graphical user interface. Handset run on the Qt (Nokia seminal application software) and the Nokia N900 is glowing example. Infotainment in the vehicles is perhaps the most important application as a conclave of vehicle manufacturers (Genivi Alliance) adopt the Qt to develop sophisticated in-car entertainment as well as navigation systems.
Why Smart TV?
Speaking of MeeGos usefulness in infotainment brings us back to the Working Group that has been set the task of exploring new applications for the Smart TV. Smart TV will be to 2015 what television was in the 1960s. But with a difference the content will be more personalized, exciting and all accessible at the drop of a button. Armed with a browser and innumerable TV apps, the viewer simply discovers content that he wants from across the Internet, Cable TV as well as the internet.
With MeeGo and a Smart TV the equations and televisions are drastically going to change to the next level. The ecosystem is all set to change for service providers and content developers alike. The hardware for television too will change just the Smart Phones are different from the regulation phone sets.
The MeeGo Smart TV Working Group is scheduled for the first meet in April 2011 and will consist of Intel, Intel Digital Home Group , Nokia, Telecom Italia and several other small and large players.