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Google’s watching over you September 28, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Google.

Google continues its relentless advance into new technologies when it unveiled a device which ‘learns’ an online TV viewer’s watching habits.

The US-based Internet search engine’s latest application could revolutionise the TV and advertising industries – and leave rivals Yahoo! and Microsoft trailing.

The as-yet-unnamed software will let PC users watching a particular show online chat in real time to others looking at the same programme. Big Brother fans, for example, could talk about the antics in the house as they happen.

The application uses an audio program to detect what is being watched, then delivers extra content relevant to that TV show direct to the computer.

It could also enable viewers to give programmes an instant rating, showing TV producers what is popular and what makes people switch channels.

With the growth in broadband use, the software could send sponsored adverts direct to the user’s PC, again relevant to the TV show. Google hopes advertisers would bid for specific airtime slots in the same way sponsored ads are sold on its search engine. Users could also rate the ads, giving advertisers the chance to drop unpopular campaigns quickly.

‘This is just something our engineers are experimenting with and there are no plans to release the application at this stage,’ a Google spokeswoman said. Google is already developing what is thought to be one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers in its bid to outstrip Yahoo! and Microsoft.

The vast complex, the size of two football pitches, with cooling towers four floors high, is on a stretch of barren land 100km east of Portland, Oregon.

The plant, known only as Project 02, is thought to house two huge data centres and thousands of Google servers that will help power the billions of search queries it handles daily.

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