Did you know that some Bravia televisions, such as those with an ethernet port (commonly found in Japan), are able to display websites? Sony should offer an ethernet port and functionality like this for their televisions around the world. It doesn’t stop there, though – they basically have small desktops built into these devices that can display widgets simultaneously with a television show/etc. This is all available through the XMB like you would see on a Playstation 3 or PSP. There are currently a few widgets available, ranging from a clock, RSS news, weather and so forth. More complex widgets include the ability to view Yahoo! Auctions, Yahoo! Topics, and Yahoo! Image Search. Currently, the only Bravia models that are able to download and use widgets are the KDL-46F1 / 40F1 / 32F1 / 52V1 / 46V1 / 40V1 / 32J1 / 26J1 / 20J1 / 20M1 / 16M1, but Sony has suggested that it should become more prevalent in future Bravia TV’s.
Here’s an image of a Bravia television playing HD content and displaying several apps, such as RSS, a clock, and a game.
The real news however is that Sony Japan has released a Bravia App SDK for the general public to download and use to create widgets. A Bravia XMB emulator is also included, which allows developers to test their widgets on a Bravia with great ease. Sony has also promised that validation time for Apps will not take long as they are limited in size (max 1.3MB). Tantalizing possibilities for applications, as shown by Sony recently in a private meeting with Watch, include small multiplayer online games. Think of this venture like the App Store for the iPhone/iTouch. It is feasible to predict that this could open the floodgates for Apps and it would be likely to see at least a hundred by year’s end.
The Windows XP / Vista-only SDK includes:
- App emulator
- App Development Guide
- AppliCast Layout XML Specification
- Widget Samples
..and to inspire developers out there Sony is holding a contest for best application that ends in January 8th, 2009. As a prize, Sony is giving away a Bravia KDL-40F1 LCD TV to the grand prize winner, a VAIO TypeC VGN-CS60B to second place, a BDZ-T55 Blu-Ray Player to third, a DSC-T77 to fourth, and 6 runner-ups will recieve a NW-S736F Walkman.
Current owners of the aforementioned televisions who live in Japan can visit this website to download community made Apps. Currently, it offers a clock application but it will grow accordingly. Information courtesy Sony Japan and Watch (has great images).