Our lounge rooms have become even more central to our lives this year, and Google is expanding the functionality of your TV with the announcement that their Video chat app, Duo, will be available for Android TV soon.
Duo will be rolling out to Android TV devices as a Beta release ‘in the coming weeks’, and will allow you to initiate, or receive both one-on-one and group calls through your TV.
You will of course need a camera if your TV doesn’t have one built-in, but that should be fairly easy to achieve by simply plugging a USB Webcam into a spare USB slot on your TV.
Google didn’t mention Android TV set top boxes like the Foxtel Now Box, Shield TV or Vodafone TV however native webcam support was included in the release of Android 9, so it would be likely that any device running that could support a webcam as well.
Google is positioning this release as a separate, more consumer focused release as opposed to recent updates to Meet, their more business focused video conferencing tool which now supports casting video to Chromecast and Nest Hub smart displays. Though the rumours are circulating that plans are already afoot to merge Duo into Meet – but we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.
Google hasn’t given an exact time-frame for release beyond ‘coming weeks’, so we’ll be keeping an eye on this one. Until then, I’m off to track down a decent webcam for my TV.