This dongle makes any screen an Android device

Want that 70″ LCD television in your living room to be an Android device? This little guy can make it happen. With an HDMI port on one end, and a USB plug on the other for power, just plug in FXI Technologies’ Cotton Candy dongle to create a 1080p Android television.

The price isn’t set for the device, but it’s expected to be available at less than $200. Considering what’s inside that’s pretty reasonable. There’s a dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM processor, 1 gig of RAM, 64 gigs of storage, Bluetooth, WiFi, and a microSD card slot. Wow!

So is it hackable? Absolutely. Well, kind of? The company doesn’t intend to bring Cotton Candy to the retail market. Instead, they will sell the device to developers who may do what they wish. From there, said developers have the option to license the technology for their own products. This begs the question, will the development kit come in under $200? Hard to say.

Check out the video after the break to hear an interview with the company’s CEO. It certainly sounds fascinating, and like the Chumby NeTV, we can’t wait to see what comes of this.

[Thanks Adam via RootzWiki]

37 thoughts on “This dongle makes any screen an Android device

    1. Right… but it does cost 200 clams making it not particularly disposable. IE you’re not going to want to experiment extensively with something of that cost…

    2. They’re totally different boards, anyway I would choose the Raspberry anytime.
      This one plays in the same league of the Beagleboard but costs more, has much less connectivity and the use of Java will severely limit its performance. Take into account that pseudo-native software under Android (what you write using the NDK) runs about 8-12 times faster than the Java software, but _every_ program in Android, pseudo-native ones included, must run within a virtual machine, therefore writing true native software in android is plain impossible (unless you are Google and write device drivers) so any software written in C run on a 600 MHz board would run circles around the same software written in Java run on a much faster processor.

      Want an example? Here it is!

      I could change my mind the day stuff like this software will be ported to Android, which in my opinion won’t happen anytime soon because of the _huge_ Java limitations.

      Oh, and I am an Android product owner and don’t own a single Apple product nor I have any wish to buy one. Fact is, I consider Linux on mobile platforms dead and buried the day they killed Meego.

      1. You don’t have to run Android on it. Just install your favourite Linux/ARM distro. You could even run Meego on it, if that’s what you want so much.

      2. He says in the video android OR ubuntu.

        That video was fail though, they only talk and claim, so why not show the damn thing in action?

      3. No iy’s not powered by the host, it is a computer, you plug it in HDMI, so again: Does HDMI has more power than I though to power a dual core etc, or does it need a powersupply?

  1. Looks pretty awesome, but I don’t want to shell out $200 on something so easily lost, I hope there’s encryption on it to keep the data safe. still, I like http://geek-menu.sourceforge.net/ it won’t do as much as cotton candy will, but it’s out there now, it’s free, and chances are you already have a thumb drive to put it on.

  2. Neat, but maybe it could be cheaper if it didn’t have to be so small? As long as it’s still pocketable, I don’t think it would make a difference.

  3. All that in that dongle? I’ve been waiting for gumstix to do dual core for a while, I may go with this. I’m wanting to do a obfuscated surveillance and file storage system.

    1. I’ve got a better idea. Sell them for fifty dollars and provide everything needed to connect to that HDMI connection, including a small screened HDTV set. Also include a set of dongles that translate from HDMI to DVI, and from DVI to VGA and then I’ll buy it.

  4. WANT WANT WANT!!!!
    please, tell me where the hell i can get one!!!
    but i wants usb host port, then it’d be PERFECT!
    i seriously love this!
    1GB ram, 1.2Ghz dual core cpu,
    FINALLY, something i can do things with!

    1. Read the article, second sentence, last two words are of particular interest: ” With an HDMI port on one end, and a USB plug on the other for power”

      1. Either way you can not plug it in HDMI and have a computer then, you’d need a computer to power it make it a computer, or of course a powered USB hub, but either way suddenly it’s a lots of wires and you carrying around a poweradaptor/hub.

  5. is anybody else thinking super computer? its a good idea but why so small? im sure people would be more than happy with something the same size as a 3.5″ hdd.

  6. If this is legit, the possibilities are endless.

    -

    As for the power question, I don’t know about the 500mA being enough to run it (sounds a bit skimpy), but if so, all you need is one of those USB extender cables. Most HDTVs already come with a USB port built into them, so you could run power off of that. It does make things a bit more complicated and bulky than they claim, but it’s still an amazing feat of hypothetical technology.

    -

    If you can fit all of that into a USB stick, imagine what a spy can fit in a false tooth!

    1. Well, my 454MHz single core ARM platform running flat out uses about 200mA@5V… so I’d think it pretty reasonable that this can work with 500mA.

    2. Think about a modern smartphone which has pretty much the same hardware, does its battery last more than 2-3 hours with the screen on? (typical battery capacities are 1Ah to 1.5Ah) If so, it’s drawing less than 500mA. If not, remove the screen and power draw should drop by 100-200mA* so now we’re well and truly into the capabilities of USB power.

      *figures come from this AMOLED display power experiment http://jsharkey.org/blog/2010/07/01/android-surfaceflinger-tricks-for-fun-and-profit/

  7. So, it has no demonstration, it shares all of the stuff you put in it to a cloud on the web and also how can it turn your tv in a android device, if tv screens has no touchscreen fetaures??

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