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Turn Any TV Into a Smart TV
Infinitec unveils thumb-sized Pocket TV that brings Android to any TV with an HDMI port.
On Thursday, startup Infinitec announced the Pocket TV, a thumb-sized dongle that plugs directly into HDMI ports on existing TVs, bringing the power of Android to living rooms everywhere.
The 3.4 by 1.2 by 0.6-inch device resembles a USB flash drive, with an HDMI connector that plugs directly into your existing TV. The micro-computer is powered by a single-core, 1-GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, similar to ones found on Android-powered smartphones—albeit somewhat lower-end devices by today’s standards. A Mali-400MP GPU will push content onto HDTVs at full 1080p HD resolution. The Pocket TV will come with 4GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot that accepts cards up to 32GB. The device will also feature 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and a USB 2.0 port for connecting additional peripherals.
Going beyond the offerings by Google and Apple, the Pocket TV will turn your standard HDTV set into a veritable jumbo tablet. On top of Smart TV standards like Web browsing, Netflix, and media playback, the device runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, bringing with it the vast selection of apps in the Google Play app market.
The Pocket TV, however, won’t transform your set into a giant touch screen, instead offering two options for navigating through apps and content. The first is a standard IR remote that ships with every unit, providing fairly pedestrian control options like a direction pad and playback buttons. The second is the Air Remote, which includes a gyroscopic sensor and QWERTY keyboard for a more interactive experience. The Pocket TV will also be compatible with the Google Remote TV app, transforming your smartphone into a TV remote.
One caveat is that this is still a Kickstarter project, but Infinitec has already surpassed its funding goal of $100,000 and plans to begin shipping units sometime this fall. Infinitec plans for a retail price tag of $160, but early supporters can pre-order the device for $99.
By Eugene Kim, PCMag