Update: The Matchstick project team announced yesterday that it made the decision to cancel the project and refund the money.
MatchStick is an open Google Chromecast alternative that is based on Firefox OS. The company behind it is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter and the pledged amount of $100,000 has already been matched less than a day after publication.
MatchStick runs on a Rockchip 3066 dual-core cpu with one Gigabyte of RAM and four Gigabyte internal storage. That's twice the amount of RAM and memory that Chromecast ships with.
The increase in memory improves the video playback cache and performance significantly according to the team behind the product.
Backers get a MatchStick for $18 and the retail price of the device has been set to $25 which is $10 less than what Google charges for its Chromecast device.
MatchStick runs on Firefox OS, an open source application, and the hardware source files are also available making it a completely open device.
The device itself works similar to Chromecast. You plug it into a TV or HD Monitor to stream contents from computer systems or mobile devices to the screen.
This works on iOS and Android devices as well as computer systems running Firefox or Chrome. Native apps for iOS and Android will be provided which provide you with options to install apps for services that you want to cast.
Apps power the functionality and it is interesting to note that many Chromecast apps work right out of the box as well.
Support for popular services such as Netflix, YouTube, ESPN or Spotify is already available and since it is possible to cast any browser tab using MatchStick, it should not be a problem to cast unsupported services (those without native application) as well.
If you compare MatchStick to Chromecast, you will encounter another difference. Some apps are not allowed to be produced for Chromecast. Since apps have to adhere to Google Play store policies, contents such as gambling or or those that make available sexually explicit material are not allowed. Mozilla's device does not come with these restrictions since apps can be created without interference from Mozilla.
Here is the campaign video that reveals additional information about device and campaign.
The estimated delivery date for the device is February 2015.
A Chromecast-like device without restrictions with better hardware and for less? That's great. There are things left unanswered right now though but considering that the device is available for just $18 right now (plus $5 for international shipping), then there is little reason not to take the dive and back that device.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.