Getting your content from a mobile device to your television is certainly a convenience. In fact, it might very well signal a paradigm shift in how we compute. I truly long for the day that phones replaces laptops and desktops completely in favor of a portable, visually enabled experience that centers on the device you put in your pocket. But I digress. The here and now is about streaming. And there’s definitely interest and demand fueled by a large enough market. Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV continue to dominate the market, but they’re not the only ones.
Inspired by the Chromecast, the new Matchstick will plug into your TV using HDMI, connect to devices locally using Wi-Fi, and be used as a streaming media platform. Unlike Chromecast, however, Matchstick will use the open source Firefox OS as its base, making it readily accessible to developers who will be able to build HTML apps for Matchstick that leverage open Web technologies. The developers hope it will deliver what they wanted Chromecast to achieve: any content on any HD screen, anywhere, any time. They’ve put together an SDK for both sending apps (that run on phones or PCs to transmit content to the Matchstick) and receiver apps (that run on the Matchstick itself).
The Kickstarter appeal is aiming to raise $100,000 in the next month to get the Matchstick built. In addition to using open source software, Matchstick’s creators will publish all the schematics and design for the stick’s hardware, in principle enabling others to build similar devices themselves. The question becomes, is this competition or the beginning of a rebellion? Think of what Microsoft is going for with MiraCast (HERE).