Mozilla and Matchstick announced a new Firefox Operating System powered HDMI dongle on Wednesday. The $25 dongle is being considered as their open-source take on the Chromecast. In an effort to lower the price tag, the HDMI dongle will first be made available through Kickstarter.
A serious threat to Chromecast, Firefox OS powered dongle called ‘Matchstick‘ is essentially a small, WiFi-connected HDMI stick that plugs into your HDTV or HD Monitor that lets you stream and interact with your favorite stuff from the Internet – movies, TV, music, games etc. You can even use it in a conference room to get presentations or other media from your laptop to an HDTV. All in all much similar to what Google’s Chromecast offer but its cheaper than Chromecast has open-source software and open-source hardware as well which means now developers can build their your own TV dongle just like Chromecast.
Matchstick is the world’s first open source software and open source hardware HDMI streaming dongle. Matchstick provides full hardware design source files for interested developers, device manufacturers and service providers to build their unique TV streaming devices.
Jack Chang, General Manger, Matchstick, US described the HDMI dongle as “essentially an open Chromecast”. The device at $25 is still cheaper than Chromecast which is available for $35 in the market. Further, the kickstarter is making the streaming Internet and media stick available at an early bird price of $12 and a regular price of $18.
Matchstick has an initial plan of raising around $100,000. A free shipping of the dongle will be provided in the United States and an additional $5 will be charged for international shipping. The full breakdown for the kickstarter goal amount is as follows:
1) Pledge $2 or more: This donation amount will be used to support the open software and open hardware platform.
2) Pledge $12 or more: The first five hundred units of the HDMI dongle will be made available at this price.
3) Pledge $18 or more: This is the price at which the streaming Internet and media stick will be offered to everyone else during the Kickstarter campaign.
4) Pledge $24 or more: 250 developer units will be offered in prototype. This includes access to all APIs and SDKs and Matchstick team’s developer support.
5) Pledge $34 or more: Two Matchsticks will be made available at this price.
6) Pledge $ 160 or more: 10 Matchsticks will be made available. Extra shipping charges of $10 for International shipping and free shipping in the US.
7) Pledge $ 10,000 or more: Four Matchsticks will be made available at this price along with a bunch of Matchstick swag. On the top of that, a trip for the one who was pledged the amount to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Les Vegas along with a guest. The trip would include a stay at the Venetian, free passes to the CES show, $200 daily spending money, a show one night and a dinner with the team.
The startup is hoping to get the HDMI dongle into the developer hands by November this year and everyone else’s by February next year.
Mozilla is playing a huge role in the Matchstick’s debut since the device runs on the Firefox Operating System. This device is a part of Mozilla’s plan of pushing its OS into more devices than just Smartphones.
Both Mozilla and Matchstick share the same vision about the device: the first streaming stick which is free of any walled garden ecosystem. This vision means the constraints of Google Play doesn’t exist with this HDMI dongle.