The race to control the living room has already begun and Google (GOOG) is afraid it’ll be left behind. After revealing the next to useless $300 Nexus Q last year and then quietly scrapping it, Google is reportedly “actively working with other companies” to build an open standard alternative to Apple’s (AAPL) AirPlay streaming protocol, according to GigaOm.
The tech site quotes Google product Manager Timbo Drayson as saying the company “really want[s] to move the whole industry forward” with a wireless feature that’ll allow content to be beamed from Android smartphones and tablets to compatible Google TV boxes. GigaOm says the first of Google’s AirPlay alternative ambitions is already available: last week’s new YouTube app for Android that added video streaming to Google TV.
If there’s a key takeaway in GigaOm’s conversation with Drayson, it’s that the open standard protocol that Google is working on will “make it possible for data to flow in both directions,” enabling video content to be beamed from a Google TV to mobile devices as opposed to only from them. The AirPlay competitor would also be able stream content from a laptop to the TV screen, similar to OS X 10.8’s Mountain Lion desktop mirroring feature, writes GigaOm.
The report didn’t mention when Google would launch its AirPlay alternative, but with the Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U, Xbox SmartGlass and slew of other companies taking a stab at the “second-screen experience” in the living room, it can’t afford to wait too long.