Last week GigaOM published a report suggesting that the makers of Firefox were busy putting together a media-streaming stick of their own to beam content from the Web straight to a large screen television set or monitor, much like Google’s Chromecast. But it now appears that Mozilla is, in fact, not working on their own dongle – the company’s open-source Firefox OS is available to any company that wants to integrate the software into their project.
Just because someone is out there integrating the OS into their dongle doesn’t mean that Mozilla is directly involved.
In an interview with Re/code earlier this week, a representative from the company explained that the recently revealed media-streaming stick “is not a Mozilla project, and we do not make devices. Firefox OS is an open platform freely available for any company to build on without restrictions.” This means companies can experiment with different form factors that run Firefox OS.
The flurry of rumors was initially spurred on by a tweet from Mozilla developer/evangelist Christian Heilmann that included a picture of what he called a “a fully open TV casting prototype device running #FirefoxOS” with an “open boot loader and all.” GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers initially reported that the device hadn’t yet been given a name or a release date, and that it wasn’t clear who Mozilla was working with as a hardware partner – other than the fact that Mozilla actually isn’t working with a hardware partner at all, the rest of this information is still yet to be released.
So what do we know? The dongle will be powered by Firefox OS, the lightweight Web-based software that Mozilla is pushing as an alternative mobile operating system. According to GigaOm, the device works in a manner similar to the Chromecast and can even run some Chromecast apps. It fits in with the screen-casting and multi-display technologies that Firefox developers have been working on for some time.
For now, all we can do is speculate as to what entity is actually developing this dongle.
Would you welcome a Chromecast competitor? Or is there no need for a proliferation of HDMI streaming dongles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Update by Alex Tretbar 6-26-2014: This post was rewritten to reflect that Mozilla is not working on its own dongle.