Yahoo & Intel unveil widgets to bring internet to TV

Intel is to build Yahoo! widgets into new TV chips to allow consumers to enjoy internet applications while watching their favourite programmes.

Yahoo is planning to launch the Widget Channel, an application framework designed for TV and related consumer electronics devices that use Intel's hardware, by early next year.

TV Widgets, small web-based applications that complement TV shows, will give viewers options such as watching videos, tracking their favourite stocks or sports teams, interacting with friends or staying up to date with news and information.

One of the applications will be Twitter, a service that allows users to keep friends in touch with their daily activities via text messages.

Eric Kim, Intel senior vice-president and general manager of the company's Digital Home Group, said: "TV will fundamentally change how we talk about, imagine and experience the internet. No longer just a passive experience, unless the viewer wants it that way, Intel and Yahoo are proposing a way where the TV and internet are as interactive, and seamless, as possible."

Intel and Yahoo! are working with a range of companies that are planning on developing and deploying TV widgets including Blockbuster, CBS Interactive, EBay, MTV and Samsung.

The Widget Channel will be powered by the Yahoo Widget Engine, a fifth-generation applications platform.

Marco Boerries, executive vice-president of Connect Life, Yahoo, said: "By using the popular Yahoo Widget Engine to power the Widget Channel we intend to provide an opportunity for all developers and publishers to create new experiences that can reach millions of TV viewers globally."

Yahoo!'s move into the TV space echoes its rival Microsoft's long-running attempt to get in on the convergence of television and computers in the living room with its Windows Media Centre PCTVs.

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