From Android Auto to OnLive: how video is becoming the secret glue of connected devices

Gigaom

Here’s something you may not know about Android Auto, Google’s (S GOOG) attempt to enter the automotive space: Cars compatible with Android Auto won’t actually run any Android apps, but instead simply play back a video stream rendered by your phone – kind of like OnLive, but for your dashboard.

An Android connected Hyundai at Google I/O (photo: Signe Brewster) An Android connected Hyundai at Google I/O (photo: Signe Brewster)

This makes Auto the latest example for a growing trend to virtualize user interfaces. Video games on your game console, the channel guide on your cable box and even the productivity apps on your mobile device are increasingly not based on locally executed code, but compressed video streams that are rendered on another device within the same network, or even in the cloud.

In this move towards virtualization, video streams have become the secret glue that connects screens and devices without the need for complicated, platform-specific implementations. And the upside of…

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