Turn your TV into a Computer with FXI Technologies Cotton Candy USB Stick
FXI Technologies has unveiled a USB stick that turns any screen into an a computer running Android or Ubuntu, and in the future Windows 8 will also be supported. The Cotton Candy will include a Samsung Exynos 4210 dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, with a Quad Core Mali 400MP GPU, like the Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone. It will also feature 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot capable of holding up to 64GB of flash memory, Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity and an HDMI port.
This small device (it measures 8cm x 2.5cm) has decent multimedia capabilities as it can support 1080p decode of MPEG4-SP/H.263/H.264 AVC/MPEG-2/VC1, as well as MP3, AAC, AAC+, Real Audio decoding and JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG pictures. Extra third party codec can also be added.
There are 2 main use cases for the Cotton Candy:
Connection to a HDMI-capable TV or Display: Connect an HDMI monitor/TV to Cotton Candy and plug a USB power cord into an electrical source then navigate your media with a Bluetooth or WiFi mouse and keyboard. You can now use your monitor as a computer to access cloud apps and documents, play games, surf the web and view photos and HD video. Instead of using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You can also use your smartphone to control the Cotton Candy and play your smartphone media files on TV.
Dual OS support with your Laptop (Windows or MacOS): Your can connect this USB computer to the USB port of your laptop to run Android or Ubuntu as well as easily transferring files between Windows and Android/Ubuntu.
I thought Nvidia had patented USB computers, so we might have an interesting patent fight if the product becomes popular. In some ways it also directly competes with MHL. At the moment, MHL is relatively expensive because you need an MHL-enabled smartphone and TV, but in a few years once MHL is in all new smartphones and TV, then you’ll only need a cable to achieve similar features.
You can watch Cotton Candy hands-on video below:
The device is still a prototype FXi Tech expect to sell the Cotton Candy in their website in early 2012 and mass market it for X’mas 2012. It should sell for less than 200 USD.
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