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Filed As Science Fiction: Google Media, Inc.

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-31

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In 20 years, we'll be telling our children, to their astonishment, that Google was once a text-only search engine that made a name for itself by being the best at finding stuff on the vast web of (mostly text) information that was the early Internet. "You had to read?" they'll ask. "Oh, yes. Incessantly," we'll answer. "Type, too."

By 2026, give or take, Google will have become not only a search technology, but the premiere media company providing access to a much different Internet that will be so mundane to a new generation while still, quite often, astonishing to the older one. You remember when remote controls had wires? How about TV knobs that clicked and fell off after a while?

Of course, by that time, the Last Mile Race will have been decided. AT&T will have swallowed up all the Bells but Verizon (and Yahoo! for that matter); Comcast will have joined forces with other cable providers; and Google (gasp!) will have teamed with Microsoft, finding a common enemy in telecoms; all achieving fiber to the premises, effectively dividing fiber optic networks and each controlling their respective spectrum to deliver wireless access as well.

But it will be fiber that determines the true potential of the Internet with speeds unmatched by air or by power line -- and the owners of those networks will hold tremendous power.These are broad predictions, but why not?

Well, maybe wi-fi can deliver. Chinese set-top box manufacturer Airgo Networks just boasted 240Mbps wireless delivery transmitting three high definition channels. But will it meet the 500Mbps or more promised by fiber? There may be an answer yet about all that dark fiber Google bought up last year.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt told TheBusinessOnline:

At the most people currently have access to only around 500 television channels. They should have access to everything - that is where we are heading.

Schmidt and company plan to revolutionize television advertising the same way Google revolutionized Internet advertising. Part of the process is building an electronic program guide for IPTV. Schmidt acknowledges that an electronic program guide, at its core level, is a search engine, which is obviously Google's milieu.

Just this week, Google has made movie trailers available for view. Google partner AOL announced a "new search experience this summer" as Chairman and CEO Jonathan Miller promised "to do for video what traditional search has done for text."

As the search (media) companies accomplish these things, the revolution (and race to your living room) begins. Expect to google something from your remote and coffee tables with built-in wireless keyboards. The keyboards and remotes are just for the old folks, though. The kids will be speaking things into existence.


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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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