重さ21g のAndroid端末 " Cotton Candy "、HDMI / USBで画面を乗っ取り

Ittousai , @Ittousai_ej
2011年11月18日, 午後 05:10 in android

ノルウェーはトロンハイムのスタートアップ FXI Technologies が、「世界初のエニースクリーン・コネクテッドUSBデバイス」こと " Cotton Candy " を発表しました。具体的に何をする機械なのかピンとこない名称ですが、メーカーの説明は「あらゆるディスプレイとクラウド、あらゆる入力機器を結ぶ技術的ブリッジ」。やっぱりよく分かりません。

即物的に説明すれば、Cotton Candy (開発名) は重さ 21グラムの本体に ARM Cortex-A9 (1.2GHz)プロセッサ、Mali 400MP 4コアGPU、WiFi、Bluetoothなどを載せたスティック型のAndroidデバイス。USBメモリ程度の筐体にARMプロセッサを載せたコンピュータは「使い方は自分で考えろ」なホビー向けを筆頭にわりと存在していますが、コットンキャンディは両端に HDMI と USBを備え、「あらゆるスクリーン」を自分のディスプレイとして利用する点が特徴です。

載っているSoCは HD画質のH.264動画再生や3Dゲーム、そのほかAndroid用アプリの起動が可能。HDMIでテレビやモニタにつなげば、USBポートに接続した周辺機器やBluetooth接続のモバイル端末などを入力インターフェースとして、どこでもAndroidアプリや「クラウドコンテンツ」が利用できるという仕組みです。(クラウド部分はOEMに任せるらしくあまり説明なし)。さらにPCやMacのUSBポートに接続した場合でも、独自の仮想化技術 " Any Screen Virtualization " によりディスプレイと入力インターフェースを乗っ取り、Android端末として機能させます。

用途・利点はCotton Candyだけを持ち歩くことで任意のモニタやテレビ、PCから自分の (クラウド)環境にアクセスできる、画面や入力機器となる宿主側のデバイスが時代遅れになっても最新のAndroid端末として使える等々。発表文中のとってつけたような「クラウド」や「モバイル」も含め、用途を限定せずさまざまな分野のOEMに採用を呼びかけています。FXIによれば、製品として登場するのは2012年の後半(予定)。価格は200ドル以下(これも予定)。要はUSBスティック程度の大きさに縮小されたApple TV のようなもので、サービスやアプリによっては面白い使い方ができそうです (Androidスマートフォンにその仮想化寄生技術を供与してくれたほうがみんな幸せになれそうですが)。続きはFXIの発表文。

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."

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.

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関連キーワード: android, cotton candy, CottonCandy, fxi

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