Since the Chromecast’s runaway success, scores of companies have created their own version, or changed the dimensions of their existing set top streamers to better suit the now popular dongle look. The proprietary nature of most systems and the need to find some sort of workaround is a problem. This sort of problem presents roadblocks to the average consumer that they’re not willing or capable to negotiate.
This means that Matchstick, a new streaming dongle powered by Mozilla Firefox OS, has to be something truly special to catch people’s attention. And for the most part, it does. The small stick is a completely new product category for the OS, standing apart with its completely open platform that will work with any device. You can download the design schematics to build your own version or use a versatile developer SDK to grow the platform; the company’s developer program supplies interested parties with prototype models, ensuring that will happen.
It doesn’t rest on its laurels with just those points. Its hardware is a move up from competing devices: bragging 4GB onboard storage and 1GB DDR3 memory where the Chromecast has none enables it to do everything other streamers do with just a bit more pep. Chromecast will need to play catch-up because a quick recompile will make current Chromecast apps compatible with Matchstick.
There’ll be a rather small assortment of apps at launch, like Netflix and HBO Go, compared to the rest of the big players already enjoying a broader range. With Airtame working similarly across all devices and being able to beam to multiple displays, Biggifi a full Android experience but only working with Android, and the premium priced Sugarcube able to stream 4K, the Matchstick has plenty of competition. Its $100,000 goal and $18 price tag will definitely give it a better shot at success.