Sunday, November 20, 2011

Android on USB for your PC and TV

Norway based FXI technology labs has come up with an amazing device that’s basically an Android based mini-PC on a USB stick called Cotton Candy.

So what you have is a small USB sized flash drive which actually has a USB and HDMI port on either end. Inside Cotton Candy is a 1.2GHz Samsung Exynos CPU plus an ARM Mali-400MP quad-core GPU plus 1GB RAM. It also has WiFi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity as well as a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 64GB. Once plugged into a PC or MAC via the USB or to a TV via HDMI, you have a fully fledged Android Gingerbread 2.3 running device.

On a computer, the Cotton Candy has a small popup that then opens up Android running parallel to your Windows or OSX machine. Obviously all touch based controls can be controlled via the mouse. I don’t see anybody apart from developers using this on their computers, but with TV’s you can have a whole new window of opportunity open up. Imagine browsing the internet, streaming videos and do the occasional document editing while using a Bluetooth keyboard & mouse! No more slow and cumbersome “Smart TV”interface to deal with. You can even just use any old monitor and Bluetooth keyboard & mouse to have a complete office environment or just internet browsing machine. The possibilities are amazing indeed. I wouldn’t be surprised if some big company will buy out FXI and start selling the Cotton Candy to mass market consumers.

Make any TV Smart.

Sadly the Cotton Candy isn’t certified by Google, so there’s no Marketplace right now, but FXI is working with third parties to bring an independent App Store. FXI says that Cotton Candy will be out int he second half of 2012 and will be available for less than $200 (AED 750).

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