Even though Google’s Nexus Q, an Apple TV competitor that the company released this summer, was basically ignored by consumers and was shelved before it went on sale, they have announced that they’re working on an open alternative to AirPlay, the Apple technology that allows users to share photos, audio, and video to the Apple TV and other devices.
Speaking to GigaOm, Google Product Manager Timbo Drayson made it clear that Google has big plans in the space and wants to move forward. “We really want to move the whole industry forward,” Drayson told the publication.
How does Google plan to “move the whole industry forward”? Drayson said Google is actively working with other companies to implement an AirPlay-like standard.
Drayson explains that it’s not just about beaming video and audio to devices, the new protocol will allow data to flow in both directions, This would enable developers to build second-screen experiences to correspond to what’s occurring on live TV as well. It would also allow beaming content from a laptop to the TV screen.
If Google can get their partners interested in their open AirPlay alternative, it’s good for all of us. Competition. That’s what breeds innovation. Apple needs someone nipping at their heels so they don’t get complacent. With a competitor like this, Apple will have incentive to develop AirPlay into much more than just the streaming option that it basically is today.