Hoping to plant their flags on the screens of Internet-connected television sets, Intel Corp. and Yahoo Inc. unveiled a new project Wednesday to populate those screens with tiny programs called widgets.
Depending on your point of view, the goal is to create a multitasker's dream or an information-overload nightmare: It would let people do things like check their stock prices or peruse their photos, all while watching TV.
The notion that the Internet will be the delivery mechanism for TV has been gaining momentum, and the Intel-Yahoo partnership, called the "Widget Channel," reflects the potential.
In a screen shot provided by the two California companies, a baseball game airs on the main part of the screen while various programs, like a personalized Flickr photo gallery and a menu of on-demand movie rentals, run in a strip along the bottom of the screen.
Santa Clara-based Intel and Sunnyvale-based Yahoo are working with more than a dozen other companies to build and eventually deliver such widgets, including Blockbuster Inc., Comcast Corp., the Disney-ABC Television Group and MTV.