Motorola working on Android-based TV controller?

Purportedly leaked photos show a 6-inch touch-screen tablet codenamed Corvair running Google's Gingerbread OS.

Corvair, an Android-based tablet. The Verge

If a leaked image of a box is to be believed, Motorola Mobility is working on a tablet computer that also doubles as a TV controller.

Codenamed Corvair, the 6-inch touch-screen tablet running Android 2.3 is currently in testing with cable companies, according a report by The Verge. The box in the image calls it a "dedicated controller" and shows it wirelessly displaying the same user interface as the TV.

We don't know much specs-wise, but the box says the design is "optimized for low cost," so we wouldn't expect anything high-end inside. It also looks like it says something "OS" in the upper left, so it seems like a fairly custom version of Android. There's also IR control and RF4CE, which is a ZigBee-based RF control protocol, as well as a high-capacity 4,000mAH battery -- makes sense if you've got to keep this thing on a coffee table for days on end.

The device could be a big shot in the arm for the TV efforts of Google, which announced a $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility in August. While handset know-how and patents was the primary objective, the acquisition made Google one of the world's biggest set-top box makers and part of the cable industry's distribution chain.

Jeff Greenhouse, a veteran digital strategist and marketer, wrote in a blog post in August that the acquisition held many opportunities for Google, including greater access to the TV ad market.

"Set-top boxes offer Google an opportunity to offer new distribution for video content, enhanced integration with its other services (especially nascent Google+) and potentially expand its ad-serving and optimization empire by partnering more closely with cable companies."

Oddly, the device carries the same moniker as the 1960s Chevy that was targeted by Ralph Nader's "Unsafe At Any Speed."

 

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