Logitech CEO: Why We Embrace Google TV

Logitech’s CEO Jerry Quindlen doesn’t think that consumers are sick of buying new boxes for the living room. In fact, he believes that the Google TV-powered set-top box his company is introducing this fall will lead to consumers buying even more hardware.

Google TV Combines Live TV, Hulu and the Rest of the Web

Google TV officially introduced its Google TV platform at its i/O developers conference today, showcasing a customized version of Android that will offer full web access through an search bar and an integrated Chrome web browser.

What Would You Want From a Google Set-Top Box?

Google has partnered with Sony, Intel and Logitech to develop a yet-unannounced product called Google TV. It will be based on Android and could be a dedicated set-top box or a software platform that could be deployed on Internet-connected TVs and similar devices.

Logitech TouchMouse App Controls Your PC or Mac With the iPhone

Good utilities are often those that do a single thing, but do it extremely well. That’s the case with the Logitech TouchMouse app for the iPhone. It connects to PCs and Macs over Wi-Fi and provides multitouch control over the computer, all from the iPhone.

With Video Conferencing Deals, Polycom in Sharp Focus

robert_c_hagerty.jpgFirst Cisco Systems (s CSCO) decided to buy Norwegian video conferencing equipment maker Tandberg for about $3 billion. This week, Logitech, a Swiss computer peripherals maker, acquired LifeSize, an Austin, Texas-based private company, for about $405 million in cash. The two deals have brought the fast-growing but often-overlooked video conferencing market into sharp focus. And that is good news for Polycom, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based conferencing equipment maker, CEO Bob Hagerty boasts. Here is why: Read More about With Video Conferencing Deals, Polycom in Sharp Focus

Logitech Takes on Cisco, to Buy LifeSize for $405M

LifeSize_logoLogitech, a Swiss maker of peripherals for computers and digital consumer devices, is buying 6-year-old Austin, Texas-based video conferencing device maker LifeSize Communications for $405 million in cash. LifeSize has raised $80 million in funding from Norwest, Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Pinnacle Ventures. It makes high-definition video conferencing systems that use standard broadband connections and IP technologies to connect distributed offices and locations. The deal will put Logitech (s logi) in direct competition with Cisco Systems (s csco) in the hotly contested video conferencing equipment market. Read More about Logitech Takes on Cisco, to Buy LifeSize for $405M

Logitech’s G13 Advanced Gameboard

Logitech G13 Hero ShotWhile many don’t see the Mac (s aapl) as the ideal game platform, it still holds its own against Windows PCs and console systems. Many hardcore gamers love to trick out their systems with beefier graphics cards, extra controllers and special, high-performance input devices, and Mac users are no exception.

Today, we’re looking at Logitech’s (s logi) G13 advanced gameboard. Our verdict? It makes playing games a little bit cooler.

The Basics

Unboxing and setting up the device was a snap. Unfortunately, this is a wired device, so you will have to give up a USB port. Some might have preferred a wireless solution, but there’s likely too much data going back and forth between the device and the LCD to really be super responsive over Bluetooth, and it would likely be very draining on batteries. Not exactly something that gamers would want to switch out in the middle of World of Warcraft. Read More about Logitech’s G13 Advanced Gameboard

Logitech Launches (Very) Simplified Video Calling

From the wait-they-seriously-didn’t-have-this-already? department comes news that Logitech (s LOGI) is launching simple webcam chat software called Vid.

The webcam hardware provider had until now offered PC-only software that allowed users to email their videos and share them on YouTube (s GOOG). And of course it had been integrated (in some cases through extensive cooperation) with video calling services like Skype (s EBAY). But many people simply didn’t know what to do with Logitech cameras when they take them out of the box, according to Andrew Heymann, the company’s director of retail video product marketing. And so, like Cisco’s (s CSCO) Flip video cameras did earlier this week, Logitech is launching a companion service for its hardware that’s aimed at people who don’t know or care that it’s redundant with other existing offerings.

Vid — which comes out of Logitech’s SightSpeed video-conferencing acquisition — was explicitly built for what Heymman called the “hold-my-hander market.” Of course, that means it’s not so good for those of us who’ve used other video conferencing and chat services, and expect more features. On Vid, users simply see a line-up of a few faces of their closest contacts and click to call them.

But Vid isn’t measuring its success by wide appeal; rather, the service is meant to sell more webcams. Users who don’t have a Logitech webcam — perhaps they’re just using a built-in camera — or don’t know someone who already uses the service (and can thus invite them) can only use it for a 30-day trial before buying a Logitech device of their own. There’s not even an option to pay more to keep using Vid with another webcam.

Logitech Buys SightSpeed For Video Conferencing

[qi:086] Logitech (s LOGI), a Swiss maker of computer peripherals, has acquired video conferencing software maker SightSpeed of Berkeley, Calif., for approximately $30 million in cash. The deal is expected to close sometime in November and will have no material impact on Logitech’s business. SightSpeed was started in 2001 and has about 25 employees. Video conferencing is becoming a larger part of business for peripheral makers such as Logitech, who are seeing an increase in the sales of computer-attached video cameras. Logitech, I suspect, is trying to distinguish itself by tightly marrying its hardware to software from SightSpeed.

The acquisition of SightSpeed will provide Logitech with video calling technology and a software and services development team that can be focused on future video calling initiatives that can enable cross-platform video communications with an intuitive, lifelike experience, for people sitting in front of a personal computer or with their family in a living room. (Press Release)