We are almost there!
Hey Y'all, we're almost to the end! We have less than 48 hours to go. It's been a crazy ride and we're a bit overwhelmed by all the support you've given us.
We are still pushing towards $500K and our two stretch goals, but we've decided to give our supporters their favorite when we hit $450K. So we need you to tell us, is it Local Play or AdHoc Mode? We will be sending out some surveys upon campaign closure, so keep an eye out for them! But in the meantime, leave us some comments and let us know!
Just as a reminder: Local Play on Matchstick will allow you to stream content from your own local media servers (located on the same local area network, of course). We will provide an app for you to access content on your local media servers (NAS, SAMBA, NFS) in a list view so you can navigate to the exact content you want to fling. Of course, APIs are available for those of you who want to develop your own apps to access your local content.
Ad Hoc mode, or peer to peer playback, allows for you to play any content you have local, on your device, without connection to the cloud. In other words, no need for an internet connection, just connect your phone or tablet directly to Matchstick (serving as a wireless hotspot), and stream the content on your device directly to the big screen! This is ideal for hotels, or other scenarios where you do not have direct access to the wireless router.
We are going for 500 K! So we hope to incentivize everyone to help us get there by offering two of the most popular request for Matchstick, Local Play and Ad Hoc mode.
Local Play will allow you to play local content from your own local media servers that are on the same network as Matchstick. We'll provide an easy list view so you can access your NAS, SAMBA, NFS etc. Want to build your own retrieval app, we'll provide the API of course!
Ad Hoc is the most popular request on the campaign and one of the most missed features on Chromecast.... So we have to do it! Ad Hoc mode, or peer to peer playback, allows for you to play any content you have local, on your device, without connection to the cloud. In a hotel or Airbnb with no direct access to the wireless router? No sweat, fling your local content with the Matchstick serving as a hotspot!
What Does Matchstick Do?
Matchstick is 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, and more! You can even use it in a conference room to get presentations or other media from your laptop to an HDTV.
Seen this before? Well, we approached the Matchstick project with the mindset to to build a completely OPEN hardware and software platform, so we moved forward with Mozilla to create the first streaming stick built and certified for Firefox OS. Matchstick is a entirely new product category for Mozilla, and we can't wait to bring it to you!
Why Firefox OS?
Firefox OS is completely open and adaptable. It makes perfect sense for today's blurred lines of online content including video, music, gaming, and all the other stuff we click "play" on. An open and adaptable operating system like Firefox means less cost in production, smaller installs, and more personalized apps.... Without the need for app approval or oversight. How cool is that?
Working with Mozilla has been exciting and their amazing support has allowed us to make it this far! Our goal was to make a streaming stick that was low cost, high design, and extremely adaptable without the walled garden for app developers that tends to slow progress. We also approached the hardware as a break even, open reference design, creating an app ecosystem where the app developers drive the economy. It's what Chromecast WANTED to be... =)
Movies, TV, Music, Games... The Important Stuff
But we know what you care about... CONTENT. The number one thing your HDMI stick needs to do is let you get your favorite stuff from the Internet to your big screen. You want to know your favorite movies, TV shows, music, and games will be available. We got this!
Matchstick is being built around a community that loves video and the Internet, so not only do you get great content from the apps the Matchstick team is building into the product, but you also benefit from the cool stuff being built by the Mozilla and Matchstick developer communities.
With no limitations, rules, or boundaries, app developers can explore their creativity to bring mainstream content to places never accessible before as well as unexpected, creative apps and personalized viewing and interactive experiences that just aren't available in closed systems. Matchstick allows for cool, crazy stuff that no one else could deliver.
There are already hundreds of apps in the Mozilla app store, and as the developer program ramps up many of those apps and hundreds of new apps will become available on the Matchstick app store.
At launch, the Matchstick team will deliver a core set of content for Matchstick that will let you find the most popular movies, TV, and music. Apps like YouTube, HBO Go, Pandora, and others ensure great content right out of the box! And as our developer community grows, new apps will become available, giving users access to a constant flow of new content and experiences for Matchstick.
We wanted to make Matchstick hardware specs an upgrade over the components you might find in the leading products on the market today that might rhyme with "boneblast."
We selected the dual-core Rockchip 3066 processor, increased the onboard storage to 4GB, and dropped in 1GB of DDR3 memory. The bigger processor and increased memory gives you a much better video playback cache and increased performance for whatever games and custom overlays you might dream up.
Open source hardware and software means there are no limitations to what you can do with Matchstick. No need to jailbreak your Matchstick, the door is wide open!
Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is: We take open seriously and the only way hardware can be truly open is removing any barriers to development AND manufacturing. In light of this, we are making the reference designs and hardware schematics available for download.
Now anybody can dissect the schematics to learn what makes Matchstick tick, or use these files to build their own streaming stick. The files we provide are manufacturer ready, including board design, electrical layout, and the bill of materials. We are not including our Industrial Design - that we keep for ourselves, and is part of what makes Matchstick Matchstick.
How it Works
Matchstick simply plugs into an HDMI port on your TV or Monitor and connects to your Wi-Fi network. Done. Setup is super easy and Matchstick will guide you all the way. Easy peasy, now you're ready to "FLING".
Flinging (to Fling) lets you send any content, apps, and experiences from a computer, iOS or Android device to the big screen.
You can also mirror or fling any website in Firefox or Chrome from your laptop or PC to the Matchstick, bringing your workspace to the big screen in an instant!
Once you Fling anything to Matchstick simply use your laptop, phone, or tablet as your customized remote or controller to interact with your media. Then your phone or tablet is free for you to use without interrupting what's happening on the TV.
In fact, anybody can Fling to the Matchstick, so your entire family can Fling away and get into shouting matches over who gets to control the Matchstick (we are not responsible for damage caused during fights over the Matchstick!)
Are You A Developer?
We've launched a developer program and introduced a "Matchstick for Apps" program for qualified developers. We want to ensure a rich community of content and app development for Matchstick and have begun working with Mozilla to provide the tools and information their Firefox OS developers need to start porting and developing apps now, way before we ship your final product.
We are making 250 Matchstick prototypes available to qualified (Qualified! Please don't apply if you aren't a developer) app developers so they can begin creating content and making the awesome things we all know we want. Visit the Matchstick Developer Portal to apply for the program and get your hands on a dev unit -
No Limits To What You Can Create (okay, there are probably some limits, but it's as open as it gets!)
- Custom Overlays on live or streamed video
- Music Visualizer Walls
- Interactive Dashboards or Kiosks
- What else? It's up to you!
Status & Schedule
There is a lot of time between the start of this campaign and when we deliver this into your hands in February, and we expect a lot of good things from our engineers and the developer community.
The product is fully functional today, with the hardware design final, tooling complete, and manufacturing ready to ramp up in the next 30-60 days. We also have fully functional sender apps for Firefox, Chrome, iOS, and Android - you can Fling from any of these platforms on almost any laptop or mobile device.
Matchstick currently is already binary compatible with a large number of existing Chromecast apps. For Chromecast apps which are not binary compatible with Matchstick, a simple recompile process is all it takes for a developer to port that app to Matchstick. This porting process usually takes less than an hour, depending on the complexity of the app. Developers who have already spent countless hours creating streaming apps for Chromecast can quickly and easily port to Matchstick, instantly opening an entire new audience for their apps.
When developers receive their prototype units, they will already have a large sample set of apps to work from or use as examples. Additionally, the Matchstick engineering team is taking ownership to develop a number of the key apps that many of you expect to see on Matchstick. These apps will be available at launch and include: YouTube, HBO Go, Pandora, ESPN, ABC, and many more.
It's been an awesome journey in getting to here. Now we need your help to get Matchstick into the hands of real users. Hitting our funding goal will allow us to cover our initial manufacturing run and if we do well, we have a number of ideas for stretch goals, so join the Matchstick community and help build the ultimate media streaming device!
Thank you very much!
Risks and challenges
Hardware is done! It was actually previewed in June-
Working prototypes are available and will be in developers hands soon! We hope to have Matchstick available for the general public before the holidays, but that is a very tight deadline and we may ship in the first few months of 2015.
We are building support for many of the most popular streaming apps with our own team, but the developer community will be a significant source of extended content for the platform. More apps will emerge as the developer community continues to grow. This is the reason we built an open platform with no walls was to give the steaming community a product that will run any app, for any content, without restrictions.
Help us build the first units and get production off the ground, the more of you that join us, the quicker we can come to market!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)