We first heard about Alien Vue, the latest project from Myriad, a few weeks ago. Unlike the alien Dalvik software which allows rudimentary virtualized Android apps on various other platforms, Alien Vue takes them to a place that could actually use an expanding app environment: televisions. Now Broadcom has partnered with the software engineering company to bring Android apps to the masses. The chip maker will be distributing hardware that will allow future TVs to run apps designed for Android code.
This is a different system entirely from Google TV, though it's capable of running the same apps. Alien Vue is essentially a system-on-a-chip designed exclusively for TVs. The system includes all the basics required to run the Alien Dalvik software, recreating the requirements for Android without technically running it. Though it doesn't have easy access to the Android Market, Alien Vue could make incorporating rich Android and HTML apps much more cost-effective for manufacturers.
With Broadcomm providing hardware resources, Myriad has a real shot at becoming a middleman supplier in the TV market. With the 3D gimmick essentially flat, manufacturers are looking for a way to differentiate their televisions in a useful way. While adding Google TV functionality would add hundreds of dollars to a set's cost, incorporating the Alien Vue technology would be relatively cheap, and allow for easy tie-ins to popular services like Netflix. We'll be seeing the first examples of Broadcom and Myriad's partnership at CES.