Mozilla prepping Firefox OS-powered Google Chromecast rival
Mozilla is preparing to launch a new streaming stick built on Firefox OS. The device will serve as a competitor to Google's Chromcast, and in fact can run many of the same apps.
The company has been working on the project in secret, with an unkown partner responsible for the manufacturing of the device. Much remains unknown about the streaming stick, including its name, launch date and price. What is clear is that it will provide a similar service to Chromecast, plugging into a TV through an HDMI port and connecting it to a smartphone, laptop or tablet in order to stream content. As seen in a video posted by Gigaom, Mozilla's streaming stick is also compatible with some apps made for Chromecast, including YouTube.
"I've been tracking this project for some time," says Janko Roettgers, who created the video, in a Gigaom article. I've talked to sources directly involved, and actually was able to get my hands on one of the prototype devices that are currently being shared with a very small circle of developers"
The Firefox OS streaming stick will conform to Mozilla's open policies, potentially enabling developers to make apps on Windows Phone or Fire phone that are compatible with the device. Chromecast currently only supports iOS and Android. Certain types of content, particularly those which Google deems obscene, are also banned from using Chromecast.
Mozilla's streaming stick would take a much more hands-off approach, allowing developers to employ the device however they wish. This could enable standard desktop programs that use the streaming stick in addition to the common mobile apps. Mozilla's hands-off approach is already apparent in the manufacturing of the device, which is being handled by an unnamed third party.
Mozilla may already be preparing for the launch of the new streaming stick, suggesting release is not far away. Developer notes released in May list one of the goals ast enabling support for Chromecast as well as "Netcast," which could be a codename for the new device. It's not clear when Mozilla will officially announce the device, but it will likely be sometime within the next few weeks. A photo of the device was already leaked on Twitter Thursday, so more information from Mozilla should be on the way.