18
Nov
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This diminutive little guy is more than meets the eye. It weighs 21 grams, which is the same as the bag of the Cotton Candy it is codenamed after. The unassuming USB stick is actually an Android 2.3 Gingerbread powered device that packs a wallop. Here are its specs:

  • Dual-core 1.2-GHz Samsung Exynos ARM CPU
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • HDMI-out
  • microSD card slot

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The magic happens when you plug Cotton Candy into a Windows or OSX device. A secure window running a true Android 2.3 environment will open, which FXI Technologies refers to as "Any Screen Connected Computing":

New York, NY and Trondheim, Norway – November 17, 2011 - 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.”

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Since the Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available, I hope to see the firmware for Cotton Candy updated to the latest version of Android. Why, you ask? Because it's painful enough to see the Gingerbread interface on my NookColor, which is a 7" tablet, so seeing it blown up on a large screen computer monitor makes me want to cry.

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Images Courtesy Of LaptopMag.com

One of the most useful possibilities of the device for Android developers could possibly be testing their apps in a real Android environment that is parallel to their coding window. After all, we've seen before how slow desktop emulators can be. Do you find the possibilities of Cotton Candy intriguing? FXI Technologies would like to hear from you!

Just promise you'll let your friends here at Android Police know what sweet goodness you are cooking up!

Source: LaptopMag.com, FXI Technologies

Charles Beel
Charles is a fan of technology and how it improves our lives, whether it's life-saving medical procedures or high speed wireless standards. When he isn't combing RSS feeds for Android news, Charles is often listening to a podcast, chasing his pet Basset Hound around the house or keeping up with Texas A&M athletics.

  • Ashwin

    I wouldnt call it cross-platform without support for Linux

  • http://www.christiantechsaz.com Aaron

    Yeah, this is something I'll pick up. Totally worth it. :)

  • MonnoncMaxou

    Imagine if you could simply plug this in an HDMI port of a TV and have an instantenous MediaCenter.

    • http://cafe-ti.blog.br Alroger Jr

      hmmm, interesting... it should run Netflix even in 1080p! just need a bluetooth mini keyboard/mouse/touch.

      • rocky00

        If gmote kind of remote control app adds support to control Android remotely (now you can use it to control PC, using android phone as keyboard and mouse) then you don't even need. those extra hardware keyboard. Makes the candy sweeter.

  • http://twitter.com/mikeGsays GarciaM25

    This would only be perfect with Honeycomb or ICS now AND my Acer T230H 23" Touchscreen Monitor! Remember when that guy built one using that monitor? That's what I'm looking for, touchscreen capabilities included..... but this is a great start!

  • LG Optimus V

    Input seems like where the hiccups could happen. Unless the screen you plug into is a touchscreen. Plain monitors still need keyboards or mouse.

    • 640k

      Android has native peripheral support. All you need is a USB host. The USB ports on most of the Android devices available on the market today, simply need a cable to call the host, and will allow peripherals to connect.

      Theoretically all you'd need to do is plug the HDMI into the TV and a Logitech receiver in the USB port.

  • mastermind26

    Is this an actual product to purchase?????

    • Hal Motley

      Yes, you buy it as a tiny stick thing which you plug into any HDMI or USB port you can find.

      I don't know when it will be released to the general public though!

  • caliber

    I can't see how this could possibly be secure. The host operating system could always be screen capturing and keylogging you.

    • Nocturnhabeo

      if you are worried about that then never plug it into a computer you don't own.

  • Hal Motley

    Unless I would be using a laptop with a capacitive (or in a worse case resistive) touchscreen I would find little use for this device.

    Still, I agree that it could be really useful tool for Android app development. But this little stick has little to no use to me at this moment in time!

  • E.J.Su

    Surely it won't turn a ordinary TV into touch screen, so how do you control this thing?

    If they could build HID driver in the OS (or just Android 4.0 instead) and turn that male USB into a female, then we may have a winner here.

    • RajivK

      It has Bluetooth, just use that.

  • http://chrisparov.blogspot.com Chris

    If us devs want to test in a real environment, we just plug the phone into our dev box, can't fathom why I would want a device that doesn't emulate a real system. It sounds cool, but there aren't any uses for it. Without a touchscreen, it's hard to think of it as anything more than GoogleTV (keyboard input) running the wrong version of the OS.

  • GraveUypo

    holy shit and to think i was impressed when they could fit 1gb (as in bigger than my bulky first HDD) in a tiny little flashdrive...

    now they can fit a freaking whole system (which is probably more powerful than the system i had 7 years after my first one) in there.

    what's the next step?

  • Yuriy

    Awesome. Android on the go!

  • Synlap

    Confusion abounds:

    Cotton Candy is not an Android smartphone/tablet emulator/test environment. It is an Android-based computer in a USB stick.

    It utilizes keyboard and mouse input in addition to touch screen (if available). Its purpose in life is to give you a consistent user experience across devices.

    You plug it into almost anything with a screen... TV, WinPC, Mac, LinuxPC, etc.
    It runs the same anywhere you plug it in.

    Give it access to WiFi and hit the internet or any of your WiFi enabled devices at home.

  • cuttlefish productions

    This device has great potential as for the issue of the male usb just get a female to female usb adapter that should solve that issue. as far as security is concerned as a developer a. Wireless hardware firewall is highly recommended. come on people all it takes is a little ingenuity or some intelligence and you can do just about anything with this system.

  • cuttlefish productions

    This device has great potential as for the issue of the male usb just get a female to female usb adapter that should solve that issue. as far as security is concerned as a developer a. Wireless hardware firewall is highly recommend. All it takes is a little ingenuity or some intelligence and you can do just about anything with this system.

  • cuttlefish productions

    This device has great potential as for the issue of the male usb just get a female to female usb adapter that should solve that issue. As far as security is concerned as a developer a Wireless hardware firewall is highly recommend. All it takes is a little ingenuity or some intelligence and you can do just about anything with this system.

  • Falconator

    I would absolutely love to get my hands on this device and test it as a NAS box per say. Leave it at home, plug it into an old laptop or use a free HDMI port on my TV and monitor when needed. It's built with power so running it as a gaming or media center is definitely there, but, going beyond the generic usage would be ideal.

    Why not attempt to make an easier to use CarPC perhaps? If you have a touchscreen lcd in your car, you are set to go.

    Pleanty of opportunites to turn this baby into a monster...and I like it!!!

  • Calvin Garrison

    waiting on where to be able to buy one! Love the Android system

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