Logitech Unveils New Line of Google TV Devices
NEW YORK - Logitech unveiled its new line of gadgets for Google TV at an Oct. 6 New York City press event, and company executives say they are confident the devices – which include a wireless keyboard, HD video camera, and smartphone app – will facilitate seamless interaction with the innovative soon-to-be-released TV platform.
The event was kicked off by Logitech’s Executive Vice President of Products, Junien Labrousse, who explained that Google TV – a platform that will run on the Chrome browser and will integrate broadcast television , Internet, apps, and games into one unified interface – will create a “seamless engagement between the human and the content.”
“We can all agree consumers would love to access all their content from a single interface. There has not been one solution for consumers to bring all of this content together in a single interface until now," Labrousse said.
Labrousse then turned the floor over to Kevin Simon, Logitech’s Director of Product Marketing, who showed the Logitech Revue, the recently released tabletop box that will run Google TV, and then unveiled the first device, the Logitech Keyboard Controller.
The controller contains a full QWERTY keyboard as well as a track pad, and allows users to pull down the Google search bar on the TV screen to access whatever content they choose. For example, Simon pulled up a TV show stored in the TV’s DVR, and in a feature called “Dual View,” simultaneously navigated to that show’s web page, showing both on the same screen.
The keyboard will enable users to browse through and select the features that will come preloaded onto the Revue, including: CNBC, Google Chrome Logitech Media Player, Logitech Video HD, Napster, Pandora , Netflix, NBA Game Time, and Amazon Video on Demand (VOD).
Simon then unveiled the Logitech Mini Controller. About the size of a large cell phone, the controller contains all the same features as its larger counterpart, but without the trackpad.
Lastly, in what drew audible excitement from the crowd, Simon took out his own iPhone, and explained that Google TV and the Logitech Revue can be synced thru Logitech’s own Harmony smartphone app, which is free for at the Apple and Android app stores. (Google TV will allow people to download apps from the Android store beginning sometime in 2011, Simon said).
The smartphone app also has voice search, allowing users to speak the name of the show or video they want to see and bring it up instantly on the TV screen. They can even “push” content stored on the cell phone to the Revue.
Next up was Glen Kuo, Logitech’s Senior Global Product Marketing Manger, who demonstrated another new device, the Logitech TV Camera, which contains two microphones and enables video calling in HD through Logitech’s Video HD program, which comes preinstalled on the Revue.
“This is much more than just another product,” Kuo said, explaining that the camera enables a widescreen viewing interface that allows a whole family to appear in a video conference rather than just the person in front of the screen.
“This is one of the coolest solutions for video calling. Every time we showed this to consumers, the first question was ‘When is it coming?’ and ‘How do I get it?" Kuo told TechNewsDaily.
Logitech’s line of products is now available for preorder on Logitech.com, and Labrousse said they will be be on shelves by the end of October.
The Revue, which comes with Logitech Keyboard Controller, will cost: $299.99. By itself, the keyboard controller will cost $99.99. The Mini Controller will cost $129.99, and the Logitech TV Camera will sell for $149.99.