“The device is designed to work on anything with a screen and USB port—TVs, laptops, smart phones, anything. You can hook it up to a HDTV and stream 1080p videos from the net. When you hook it up to a computer, either Windows or Mac, it will run android applications in a secure window—essentially creating a dumb terminal.”
“The whole idea by FXI here is to allow you to convert your TV or laptop to a Android device; though FXI did mention an Ubuntu version is in the works and didn’t rule out Windows either. This effectively makes the Cotton Candy the world’s smallest computer.”
“We’ve seen “PC on a stick” products before, but the HDMI port helps make the Cotton Candy stand out. Attach a monitor to the HDMI port and a power supply to the USB jack and y0u’re up and running. Adding to the feature set is a microSD slot, and integrated Wi-Fi and BlueTooth radios; these wireless options provide both connectivity and support for a keyboard or a mouse.”
“We got a look at the powerful little USB stick this evening, and it’s a fairly interesting device. When plugged into the MacBook Air’s USB port, Android 2.3 launched in a separate window and we were able to play Angry Birds using the touchpad. The set up makes it quite easy to jump back and forth between Android and OS X. We didn’t get too much of a demo of it plugged into a TV, but we saw the founder of the company navigating Android on the big screen using a Bluetooth keyboard and it looked fairly smooth.”
“From developers to students to mobile workers, there are a number of groups that could find innovative ways to use a computer the size of a USB stick. However, you won’t see a consumer product shipping anytime soon from FXI. The company plans to sell the Cotton Candy to developers and let OEMs license the technology and turn it into something that can appeal to a wide audience.”
“FXI is a new player in the market, but the founder was previously the brains behind Falanx, which created the technology that powers ARM’s Mali GPUs. It’s working with various manufacturers with the aim of partnering up to get the devices into stores in the second half of next year, the expected cost being under $200 — although we’d pay more if they threw in a bag of the real, teeth-destroying stuff.”
As Kim and I stand here in New York demonstrating our sweet little Cotton Candy to the world, I realize that we do need to offer an explanation of the name. The reason is that it was the most similar existing object that describes somewhat what it is doing: a stick connecting a cloud to your hand!
Today there are as many screens as there are people on the planet, however, while population growth is declining the number of screens are increasing. With this growth of screens the complexity of the various systems driving them, semi conductors, cables, eco-systems, operating systems, service channels, payment models, etc. also increase.
At the same time we see that we want to use these screens the same way. We want to check our Facebook, post our Tweats, read our e-mail, find the closest restaurant, watch movies, play games and check stock quotes. There is certainly an app for everything, and we want these apps to be everywhere.
But for an App developer to be able to support all these “screens” one need to port to iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, bunch of proprietary Smart TV and Set-Top-Box OSes and whatnot. And all of these have different APIs, graphics accelerators, memory configurations, CPU performance, media accelerators etc. which makes it impossible to create an App with the same experience on every screen. This fragmentation has plagued developers and consumers alike for as long as there has been computing, and now that computing is going into absolutely everything so does the fragmentation.
So what do we do about this. In order to have a consistent user experience on all of your screens you need to acquire a multitude of expensive devices each year ( or the same rate as you buy your Smartphones) in order to be “up to date” and be able to access the latest and greatest Apps. Or, you can spend a little on a smart, connected companion device that works on all of your existing screens, or most other screens that you encounter. We are working hard to make this choice real.