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Mozilla is Working on a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick à la Chromecast

By Radu Tyrsina / June 21, 2014 / Consumer Electronics 2057

Mozilla took the world by surprised when it announced that it was developing a Firefox operating system that would be used for mobile phones, especially in developing markets. Now, there are already a few devices out there, but it seems that this isn’t the last step for the company whose name is still associated with the famous web browsers.

According to a recent report from GigaOM, Mozilla is currently working on a secretive project which has the purpose of developing a Chromecast-like media streaming stick powered by a forked version of Firefox-OS.  You can have a look at the video from below which tries to shed some light on the functionality of the upcoming device.

At the moment, there are scarce details regarding this device, we don’t know what is the price that it’s going to have, who will make and what are its main features. According to the developer who had tested the device, the Firefox OS-powered streaming stick it actually capable of running some Chromecast apps. Here are some more details from GigaOM:

Mozilla has been working for some time on adding casting and multiscreen capabilities to Firefox. Firefox developers have experimented with casting content to Roku streaming boxes, and recent developer notes hinted at the possibility that Firefox may also one day support Chromecast as well as an ominous “Netcast” device. It now looks like this Netcast device is this Firefox OS-powered streaming stick, even though Netcast is likely just another code name. The plan is apparently to add casting to Firefox as well as offer developers a casting device that is more open and hackable than Google’s Chromecast.

It seems that Mozilla’s Firefox OS streaming device won’t come with restrictions like Google’s Chromecast and this could allow developers to add cast capabilities to Windows Phone or Fire phone apps. It could go as far as to allow developers to add casting to desktop apps or for the hardware to be used to run other software. It’s also expected to come with an open boot loader.

Mozilla won’t be involved in the actual manufacturing of this product, as it will deal with the software side, which is another big difference from Google’s Chromecast. A Mozilla representative has reached out to GigaOm and said the following:

“Firefox OS is an open platform freely available for any company to build on top of without restriction. This means companies can experiment with different form factors that run Firefox OS.”

According to the report, while a release date isn’t sure, it couldn’t be too far, and we’ll be here to report when that happens.

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