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Personal Web Systems Gets $1.2M to Bring PCs to TVs

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Personal Web Systems, a company that’s developing a device to turn TV sets into web-connected computers, has raised $1.2 million of a $1.8 million funding round, according to an SEC filing picked up by paidContent.

We find Personal Web Systems particularly befuddling, starting with its ultrageneric name. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has gotten two big write-ups in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal with nary a product or even a company web site. The draw seems to be that CEO Gordon Campbell is a longtime semiconductor industry executive. Campbell told the WSJ last month that “several telecom operators” are planning trials, and paidContent that a product release has been delayed till next year.

The company calls its product a “silicon browser” (as far as I can tell that’s an original coinage), and describes it as a $150 adapter to provide full Internet access for TVs. It’s targeting India as its first market. From marketing materials emailed to us:

Personal Web Systems has chosen to implement its initial product designs using primarily off-the-shelf circuits and components on the hardware side, a customize Linux operating system and an application program interface stack on the software side. The end result is a reconfigurable processing engine that delivers full Web browsing, IPTV, Voice over IP, instant messaging, Web-based email, Open Office applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and presentation, and a host of other features – all connected to the Internet via either an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi capable broadband network.

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