Mozilla to Take On Chromecast with Firefox Streaming Stick

Mozilla has been quietly working with a partner on a Firefox OS-powered streaming media dongle that could compete with Google’s Chromecast. While the device does not yet have a name, it has been shared with a small group of developers, and photos have leaked via Twitter. GigaOM obtained a prototype that it says works similarly to Chromecast, even running some of its apps. And since Firefox OS is an open platform, the device may not have some of the same restrictions as Chromecast.

Mozilla_Firefox_StreamerThe news first leaked when Mozilla evangelist Christian Heilmann tweeted an image of a prototype (pictured here).

“It’s not exactly clear when it will go on sale, for how much, or in which markets, and I don’t know the name of the company that will eventually make or sell the hardware,” reports Janko Roettgers for GigaOM. “What I do know is that it is an ambitious project that aims to combine Mozilla’s commitment to openness with a Chromecast-like media streaming device.”

Mozilla has been developing multiscreen and casting capabilities for Firefox for a while now. Recent reports have hinted at support for a new “Netcast” device, which could be this stick (although it is likely only a code name).

The Google Cast SDK, launched earlier this year, is restricted by the type of content allowed and is limited to Android, iOS and Web apps.

“Mozilla’s device won’t come with these kinds of restrictions, which could enable developers to add cast capabilities to Windows Phone or Fire phone apps,” suggests GigaOM. “Moreover, developers could also add casting to desktop apps, and may even be able to build their own cast-enabled hardware with little interference from Mozilla.”

Roettgers has posted a 5-minute video of the still unannounced product.

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