Firefox-based HDMI stick takes streaming fight to Chromecast
3 October 2014 | 0
Matchstick, a start-up from San Jose, is planning to release an HDMI dongle that will compete with Google’s Chromecast but uses the Firefox OS and costs $25 instead of $35.
In June, news of the device’s impending announcement leaked when a Mozilla evangelist tweeted a photo of a prototype.
The company has launched a crowdsourcing campaign and released updated photos of the dongle.
Like Google‘s Chromecast, the Matchstick dongle plugs into an HDMI port on your TV or monitor and connects to your Wi-Fi network. With the dongle, users can stream and interact with content from the Internet, such as movies, TV, music and games.
Matchstick said its dongle’s setup is “super easy” and it will guide users through the process. The company even invented a new word for streaming content: Fling.
“Flinging (to Fling) lets you send any content, apps and experiences from a computer, iOS or Android device to the big screen,” the company stated on a crowdsourcing site it’s using to raise money for the new hardware.
“You can even use it in a conference room to get presentations or other media from your laptop to an HDTV,” the company said.
Matchstick said Mozilla recently certified the dongle. The first of the devices are expected to ship in February.
The product is fully functional today, according to Matchstick, and manufacturing is set to begin in the next 30-60 days.
“We also have fully functional sender apps for… Chrome, iOS and Android – you can Fling from any of these platforms on almost any laptop or mobile device,” it stated.
The dongle runs on a dual-core Rockchip 3066 processor. It has 4Gb of onboard storage capacity, and 1Gb of DDR3 memory.
“The bigger processor and increased memory gives you a much better video playback cache and increased performance for whatever games and custom overlays you might dream up,” the company states on a crowdsourcing site raising funds for the project.
Mozilla is raising money for the project through Kickstarter. After three days, it surpassed its 30-day, $100,000 goal with more than $224,000.
The Matchstick project is based on a “completely open hardware and software platform,” and also launched a developer programme called Matchstick for Apps. The company also released the device schematics.
“We want to ensure a rich community of content and app development for Matchstick and have begun working with Mozilla to provide the tools and information their Firefox OS developers need to start porting and developing apps now, way before we ship your final product,” it stated.
At launch, the company will deliver a core set of content for Matchstick allowing users to search the most popular movies, TV and music. That includes apps such as Netflix, HBO Go and Pandora.
As the developer community grows, new apps will become available, giving users access to a constant flow of new content and experiences for Matchstick.
The company said there are already hundreds of apps in the Mozilla app store.