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Alien Vue to Add Android Apps, Shared Social Viewing to Cable

Seems like we catch up with Android services provider Myriad at every tech show, and every time the company has a never-before-seen service based on Google’s open-source software.

This time, the Myriad team shared developments to bring Android apps and special social networking services to your living room television screen. The service is called AlienVue, and though it’s not up and running on any cable provider’s set-top boxes just yet, Myriad says it has an announcement dropping later this year.

Here’s how AlienVue works: Using software the company once developed to help bring Android apps to non-Android devices (remember how the BlackBerry Playbook once supported Android apps?), Alien Vue creates a software layer on set-top boxes that can support the green robot’s apps.

Last week Myriad launched a partnership with Broadcomm, a cable box-maker, that allows for Alien Vue to be pre-installed on set-top systems. The software supports the installation, activation and display of Android apps on television screens.

And there’s a component that ties into the second-screen movement as well. Operating under the assumption that no one wants to play "Angry Birds" with their television remote, Myriad designed Alien Vue to be controlled via an interface on a nearby tablet. The touch screen of the tablet serves as the control palette for the television screens, making navigation a much easier--and comfortable--process.

With a Broadcomm cable box handy, Myriad demoed the social potential of Alien Vue for us. Depending on how cable providers want the experience to look and feel, Alien Vue can be used to either cull existing social networks like Facebook and Twiiter to pull all your friends and build a massive network of faraway viewing buddies, or the service can create a unique social network where users can select friends and invite them into viewing parties through a custom-built social interface.

The service can also be used GetGlue-style, where friends’ real-time comments are overlaid on television content. At the same time, the entire conversation could be aggregated in a shared chat-room on the tablet in the watcher’s hand.

Myriad is just scratching the surface of what its Alien Vue software can offer consumers. There’s also a wealth of opportunity in navigating TV schedules and program details and creating social groups around particular television shows or sports events.

When will we get our first glimpse into the possible future of Alien Vue? Like we said, look for an announcement with one of the top three cable providers in the U.S.--and another in Japan--in the second half of this year.