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It is Time to Hack the Future of TV

The next battleground in this dawning era is the television. And the future is not in the hands of network television conglomerates, reality stars or video-streaming services.

It is in the hands of developers.

Think about it. The TV is the last great untapped platform. Some efforts have been made to create smart, internet-connected TVs, but no company or developer yet has had any meaningful success developing for TV. That is going to change. During the past several years, large companies have been laying the groundwork for an explosion in applications developed not just for televisions as singular devices, but for connecting those devices to smartphones and tablets.

Both Apple and Google have moved into the TV space. While consumers and pundits get caught up in the quarterly assessments of how well their TV products have fared, the transformation of television is still in the early stages.

The Apple TV can connect to Apple’s mobile devices through the AirPlay wireless multimedia streaming protocol. Google TV is built on top of Android, with sets built by third-party manufacturers. Google has announced the Nexus Q, which will enable content from Google Play - music, movies and television shows - to be connected through mobile devices and streamed to speakers and TVs.

When Google announced the Nexus Q last week at its Google I/O conference, it was with a wink toward the developers in the audience. Without directly saying so, Google expects developers to hack the device. They might turn the Q into a device that automates home utilities, or creates dynamic media experiences that connect smartphones and tablets to the television. Developers have not embraced Google TV, but maybe the potential uses of the Nexus Q will motivate them to come up with something the public will love.

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