Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yahoo! TV Widgets – is Web/TV Integration Finally Becoming a Reality?

Several months ago Yahoo announced that it was developing widgets that will allow viewers to integrate Web services into their TV experience. Now it looks like those widgets will finally come to market.

Samsung is now selling the first TV that I am aware of that supports Yahoo’s widgets. The Samsung 7000 will come pre-loaded with four widgets: Flickr, Yahoo News, Weather and Finance and plans to offer up to 30 more widgets within the next few months and up to 100 by the end of the year. Sony, LG and Vizio are also working on widget ready models.

You can see how the widgets will work on Yahoo’s Connected TV site – while not a demo it’s somewhat illustrative:

The widgets look a lot like iPhone apps and will be readily available for free download. And like Apple’s approach, the Yahoo Widget Engine will be an open platform that anyone can develop on so the sky will be the limit in terms of the number and types of applications that can be created.

Samsung's 7000 and Yahoo Widget Engine will provide access to Web services like Flickr

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