Google officially launched its next big idea for the living room Wednesday, and the cast of people presenting the new product dubbed Chromecast at the company’s breakfast event in San Francisco looked awfully familiar: The product was introduced by Google VP of Product Management Mario Queiroz, and demonstrated by Director of Product Management Rishi Chandra. Both executives have been heading Google TV — that other foray into the living room that didn’t fare so well. So why should things be different this time around?
Chromecast wasn’t just demoed by Queiroz and Chandra. The product has been developed by the very same people who have been working on Google TV for the past few years. But it looks like they have learned from their mistakes, and radically simplified the experience. Gone are the attempts to integrate existing pay TV offerings, recruit app developers for yet another medium and ship devices with hideous, complicated remote controls.
Like Google TV’s better-looking cousin
Instead, Chromecast is pure simplicity: Search and discovery of video content is happening on the mobile device or laptop, and all Chromecast does is stream media from the cloud. Add to that the ability to turn on your TV simply by starting video playback on your tablet, and you’ve got something that looks a bit like the anti-Google TV.