February 17, 2017
Caavo is a $399 savvy middleware box that connects content to virtually any device. Featuring eight HDMI ports and software that automatically configures to any device, Caavo offers a universal remote control with touchscreen and buttons, and works with Alexa (Google Assistant and Siri are soon to come). Caavo is designed to make watching a range of content on many different devices a seamless affair. The company was founded by Andrew Einaudi, Ashish Aggarwal and the late Blake Krikorian (who also co-founded Sling Media).
Wired quotes company chief exec Einaudi who said, “We have to work with, and embrace, what people already use… The only way to do that is to unify your living room devices, your remotes, your apps, your services, your watchlists, and your content, all in one place.”
“The Caavo box — so named because ‘un cavo’ translates to ‘one cable’ in Italian — is a 16-inch, four-pound flat box with eight HDMI inputs, an ethernet port, two USB ports, a power port and a 3.5mm jack for an IR extension cable,” explains Recode. “It’s solid, with three different aesthetic options for the top of the box (bamboo, mahogany and tigerwood) and a steel base to keep it in place.”
The universal guide combines programming from all the user’s devices in one interface, making it easy to jump from Roku to Hulu, Chromecast and DirecTV. “Search for a show or movie and Caavo reveals every place it’s available — including live TV and the Web.” The user can also keep a watchlist of content that is cross-platform and cross-device.
Although other products may have some of Caavo’s features, Caavo is the only one that incorporates all of them, something Einaudi dubs “a holistic approach.” Wired points out that “Caavo works because it steadfastly refuses to be anything other than a middleman,” running Android, for example, but not apps.
Chief technology officer Aggarwal notes that a bigger tech company is unlikely to create similar middleware “because they have competitors.” He adds that the company is thinking about how it can monetize the resulting data, “a wider, deeper view of what, when, and how people watch than anyone.” At the same time, garnering that data “raises yet more creepy feelings about how much you’re being watched while you watch TV,” suggests Wired.
First things first: Caavo right now is looking to get into consumers’ homes. “We can control all these devices, we can deep-link to apps, we can deep-link to devices, and we can do it all by being the central platform for all this content,” said Einaudi.