When thinking about the size and volume of today’s smartphones, most of the ever-shrinking space inside them is occupied by two major components: the battery and the display. Taking into context the impressive processing power that smartphones are able to harness, one might wonder exactly how much space does the processing hardware take up? As it turns out, not a lot more than your thumb, as it reigns obvious from one of the most impressive Kickstarter projects that I’ve had the pleasure to encounter: the Pocket TV.
Personally, I find the name to be a little bit confusing, as the Pocket TV is actually an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich based micro-computer, one that is able to perform any of the tasks regularly accomplished by an Android smartphone or tablet, with one major difference: the visual content can be rendered on any TV with a standard HDMI port.
Once your Pocket TV is connected to a TV (I told you the name is a bit confusing), the latter is instantly transformed into a fully functional (not to mention extremely large) Android tablet. You can stream videos from YouTube, Amazon and Hulu, stream music from the web (or from your home network drive), play games such as Temple Run and Angry Birds, check your Facebook and Twitter feeds, stream on-demand news, edit documents, browse the web or have some fun with Google Maps. Basically, the pocket TV will be able to render any app from the Google Play store on your junky size TV.
As your TV surely doesn’t feature a touchscreen, the Pocket TV can be controlled with one of the two available remote controls: the Standard IR Remote (one that looks and works a lot like your regular TV remote) or the Air Remote, featuring a gyroscopic sensor that allows you to control the Pocket TV much like a Nintendo Wii controller. In addition, you can program your universal TV remote to work with Pocket TV, or even use your Android smartphone to control the Pocket TV via the dedicated app.
Ok, so now that we know a little bit about the way Pocket TV works, let’s take a quick look at the hardware contained in the impressively small device:
- 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPU
- Mali-400 MP GPU
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal memory (expandable via microSD card slot)
- Runs on Android 4.0 ICS
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth (soon), USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3
- Dimensions: 86 x 31 x 14 mm
- Weight 35 grams
The Pocket TV team is currently finalizing the software development and first devices should start shipping in October to the first 200 people who have pre-ordered their Pocket TV. As a Kickstarter project, the Pocket TV needs to raise $100k before they can actually start the manufacturing stage. Fortunately though, the team was already able to raise nearly $85k at the date of this article.
Since we’re on the money topic, the early bird special offers for the Pocket TV allow you to pre-order your unit for as low as $99 (for the Pocket TV + IR remote) or $119 (for the Pocket TV + One Air Remote). Any way you look at it, these deals provide great value for your money. For more pricing information, please check out the official Pocket TV page at Kickstarter.com.
What do you guys make of the Pocket TV? It is definitely a unique device but do you find it useful as well? I sure do, so feel free to make me look bad in the comment section below!
P.S. We have contacted the developers of Pocket TV for a short interview so if you’ve got anything you would like us to ask them, make sure you let us know!