Google has several different product lines, each one geared to different use case scenarios. Typical people tend to use their electronics in one of three “experiences”: 10-inch, 2-foot, and 10-foot.
The 10-inch experience
When we hold our device in our hands at approximately 10-inches from our face, we’re probably using a smartphone or tablet. Either of these is very touch-centric. Keyboards are on-screen and are usually tapped with one finger or two-thumbs at a time. Icons and words are relatively small because the device is relatively close to our eyes.
The 2-foot experience
Once we put our tablets into a desktop dock, or sit down to use a laptop or desktop computer, we’ve moved over to the 2-foot experience. Here we are usually sitting down and have a keyboard and mouse or track-pad. Icons and words are usually larger than they were on our handhelds, but they’re still not terribly large.
The 10-foot experience
The last scenario typically involves a television and a couch. The screen is quite large and is situated across the room from you. Using a computer interface here is somewhat challenging. Text and icons need to be significantly larger than the previous two scenarios, and you’re probably not going to use a keyboard and mouse at all — at least not in the traditional sense.
Android 4.2, another flavor of Jelly Bean
With the next version of Android Jelly Bean, version 4.2, Google is including the ability to send whatever you have on your smartphone or tablet directly to your HDTV — no wires required. Of course you’re going to need a Miracast-enabled HDTV or an accessory that you’ll plug into your TV to enable that functionality, but it’s better than a ball or some other set-top box cluttering up your entertainment center. Who needs another one of those, right? Sure, this functionality doesn’t entirely replace what Google TV can do, but if we’re following the 80/20 rule, most of us won’t care. As far as the Nexus Q goes, I predict that it’s dead and we’re never going to see it come back.
Chrome Book may fill a niche, but we’ve seen both Motorola and Asus make “laptop accessories” to extend the functionality of your smartphone to the 2-foot experience. Motorola, now a part of Google, recently killed off their version. Perhaps Google has a Miracast-enabled laptop accessory in mind? If not, someone else could quite easily. Using Android 4.2’s wireless display and Bluetooth capabilities, you could run a laptop experience without ever having to dock your smartphone into your “laptop — you could even leave your smartphone in your pocket.
The technologies exist now, and the writing seems to be on wall. Is Google planning to take over all three scenarios with their new Android 4.2 powered phones and tablets? If not, how long do you think it will be before we see a third-party come out with something similar?