Google Chromecast launches today in the UK, coinciding with the announcement of Android Wear, a platform to operate wearables such as Google Glass, smartwatches and accessories.
The Chromecast costs just £30, compared to £99 for an Apple TV, and allows owners to stream content from the Web via a PC, tablet or smartphone on to a television. BBC iPlayer and Netflix are expected to be the most widely used applications, but use could diversify as other applications are supported by the technology. To date, 3000 developers have signed up for a development kit to make their applications work via Chromecast.
There is the potential for brands to become involved in pre-installed applications. In the USA, where Chromecast has been available for nearly a year, the device comes pre-loaded with apps from The Washington Post and Red Bull.
The Android Wear announcement paves the way, Google says, for wearable devices to be launched by the end of the year. The company claims to be in talks with Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Asus and LG over future commercially available product launches.