Set-top boxes for the increasingly voracious consumption of media have grown to be near must-haves for the living room. These boxes offer simple ways to access content from Netflix and other similar video-on-demand services. One problem with these systems is their lack of traditional Internet access. They’re already taking up the biggest screen in the home, so why not use it for more? Conversely, other solutions give you the Internet, but are light on the entertainment.
Imp is looking to unify all of these components under one, tiny little roof. The open-source, Ubuntu-based box does triple duty as a fully functional desktop computer, a XBMC-powered media streamer that works with most VOD services, and a private cloud server that can back up mobile devices with the help of an external hard drive. All of these talents allow users to have access to the usual assortment of social media and email with the use of an optional wireless keyboard and mouse for $19, while streaming their content to and from any device and imp with ease. Early birds can pick one up for $129 now before the price eventually shoots up to $199. Imp is looking for $100,000 in funding.
One of imp’s biggest draws is the fact that it’s open-source, allowing compatibility with pretty much any iOS, Android, or Windows device. Adding the kind of versatility platforms like AirPlay provide without the burdensome ecosystem is something people will be interested in. Another tiny desktop PC is the slightly more powerful and customizable is the Tango, but its power comes at a steeper cost. Ultimately, the imp is much more straightforward and user-friendly, therefore that much more attractive for the average consumer.