Is Google looking to replace the DLNA protocol?
GigaOM reports that Google is currently working on an open-source version of Apple's AirPlay service that will be compatible on all platforms, not just Android.
The news arrives after YouTube revealed the first implementation of this beaming technology last week. The tech can wirelessly send video from the YouTube app installed on Android-based smartphones and tablets to Google TV devices. Apple's AirPlay, which was first introduced with the launch of iOS 4.2, is somewhat similar, allowing users to share photos, music, and video to an Apple TV device.
"We really want to move the whole industry forward," said Google product manager Timbo Drayson. He added that Google is "actively working with other companies" to implement a new open-source AirPlay-like standard to be used on other platforms and other 1st and 3rd-party apps.
While little else is known about Google's plans thus far, GigaOM suspects that the search engine giant will move beyond mere video beaming, tackling AirPlay head-on with support for music, photos and other media. This feature could actually help push Google TV sales much like AirPlay has helped Apple move Apple TV set-top boxes off store shelves.
Drayson told GigaOM that the protocol Google is working on makes it possible for data to flow in both directions. This will allow developers to build second-screen experiences that correspond to what's happening on the big screen whether it's a movie, TV episode, sports or news broadcast. Even more, he hinted that Google is looking to beam content stored on a laptop to the TV screen as well, seemingly bypassing products like Intel's WiDi tech.
Is Google looking to replace DLNA? Launched in 2003, the Digital Living Network Alliance created a protocol that allows content to be shared between compliant devices. As an example, movies, music and videos stored on a DLNA-compliant smartphone can be streamed to a compatible set-top device like the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. A total of 500 devices actually support this protocol, but many manufacturers have chosen to develop their own solutions instead.
Drayson told GigaOM that the key ingredient to Google's AirPlay competitor would be consumer education. Getting more hardware participants in the open-source project would mean a better understanding of how media can easily be shared.