It's a truth universally acknowledged, that a user in possession of a good number of devices must be in want of a unified way to use them all. As it stands, that mythical interface doesn't exist; but hopefully that's set to change soon. Norway's FXI is heralding a device codenamed Cotton Candy; a USB/ HDMI stick that can connect to nearly anything that's packing a display. Inside the stick is a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 and quad-core ARM Mali-400MP GPU that can handle 1080p video, 802.11 b/g/n WIFi, Bluetooth v2.1 and microSD card storage, expandable up to 64GB. Plug it into a laptop or desktop and you'll be able to use a thin-layer client to access your personal cloud, or via HDMI into a HDTV to be controlled using Bluetooth peripherals, smartphones and tablets. Being able to open "your" desktop on any device means you can conduct presentations, access media content and surf the web without ties. FXI is a new player in the market, but the founder was previously the brains behind Falanx, which created the technology that powers ARM's Mali GPUs. It's working with various manufacturers with the aim of partnering up to get the devices into stores in the second half of next year, the expected cost being under $200 -- although we'd pay more if they threw in a bag of the real, teeth-destroying stuff.
Show full PR text
FXI DEMONSTRATES ANY SCREEN CONNECTED COMPUTING

USB Companion Adapter Enables Screens to Access the Cloud and Mobile Content

New York, NY and Trondheim, Norway – November 17, 2012 - FXI Technologies, a hardware and software startup based in Trondheim Norway, demonstrated today the world's first any screen, connected computing USB device. Codenamed "Cotton Candy", this sweet little device serves as a technology bridge between any display, the Cloud, and any input peripheral.

The vision for Cotton Candy is to allow users a single, secure point of access to all personal Cloud services and apps through their favorite operating system, while delivering a consistent experience on any screen. The device will serve as a companion to smartphones, tablets, notebook PC and Macs, as well add smart capabilities to existing displays, TVs, set top boxes and game consoles.

"Today's device functionality is often limited by the size of the screen it inhabits," said Borgar Ljosland, founder and CEO of FXI Technologies. "We've turned things upside down, eliminating the screen and delivering the power of a PC and the web to any screen."

Cotton Candy is a prototype USB stick equipped with an ARM® Cortex™-A9 (1.2GHz) CPU, an ARM Mali™-400 MP (Quad-core) GPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, HDMI output and the Android operating system. It decodes MPEG-4, H.264 and other video formats and display HD graphics on any HDMI equipped screen. Content is then accessed through a secure FXI web portal and can be controlled via smartphones, keyboards, mice and other USB peripherals.
"By leveraging the strengths of ARM CPU and GPU cores, FXI has packed an amazing amount of computing horsepower into a completely new form factor," said Pete Hutton, general manager of multimedia processor division, ARM. "Weighing only 21 grams and so energy-efficient that it can be powered from a USB port, the Cotton Candy offers a unique consumer experience, which will bring Cloud computing to almost any screen."

FXI's Cotton Candy plans to:
Provide consumer-friendly access to the Cloud.
Accelerate the adoption of "smart screens".
Extend the life of consumer hardware like laptops, monitors, TVs, set top boxes, tablets and more by accessing the latest OS, software and apps.
Create a single point of content storage.
Consolidation and organization of personal digital content.
Share media from mobile devices on large screens and projectors - videos, movies, photos, games and more.
Drive down the cost of computing, allowing more people to have a personal, secure computer.

"With the broad acceptance of Cloud computing and the advancement in processor technologies, the concept of a "screen-less PC" is a natural evolution in the form factor of computing devices," said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie and Associates. "The connectivity, flexibility and multi-screen compatibility of FXI's Cotton Candy makes it like a computer built specifically for the Cloud."

About the Demonstration
FXI demonstrated Cotton Candy for the first time by connecting it via HDMI to a 42" HDTV running Android and displaying YouTube videos and 3D games. Then, they switched to a word processing and spread sheet application. Next, they unplugged Cotton Candy from the TV and connected it via USB to a Windows and then a Mac laptop to play Angry Birds on the Android OS.

"The laptop use case shows how with FXI's patent protected Any Screen Virtualization Protocol, Cotton Candy can take over a host device's screen to display Internet connected content," said Ljosland. "We believe these usage scenarios will be easily adopted by consumers and FXI's USB connected computing devices will make an ideal companion for the multitude of digital devices and screens people touch daily."

The implications of a connected companion device are broad and have yet to fully be discovered. "Imagine any screen being a window to your digital world," added Ljosland. The possibilities are endless."

Availability
Currently FXI Tech is sampling prototypes to key OEM partners from the set top box, memory, PC, mobile phone, appliance, in-car entertainment and other industries. Consumer pricing has not yet been established, but product is expected to be available in volumes the second half of 2012. OEMs interested in sampling the device may contact sales@fxitech.com.

About FXI
FXI Technologies (www.fxitech.com) is a Norway-based hardware and software startup dedicated to making the world of digital screens smart and personal.

0 Comments

FXI's Cotton Candy could turn every screen you own into a cloud client