We were lucky to get a quick demonstration of SnapStick’s video solution today at CES. The startup made news recently by promising a novel way for people to transfer Web-based video quickly, by using a snapping gesture, from smart phones to televisions. While the technology is certainly new, we were definitely impressed with SnapStick’s potential.
Our presenter began the process by simply searching for Web content on an iPhone. Once located he then snapped his phone in the direction of the TV and the SnapStick set-top box began to launch it. With a flick of the wrist, Web videos magically played on the demo TV. Playback was smooth too, plus, with the a fast button press videos were upscaled to full-screen HD resolution. The SnapStick gets the horsepower to do this via the set-top box’s robust configuration of Intel Atom processor and nVidia Ion graphics. Keep in mind the demo unit we saw was a custom engineering sample.
To be clear, SnapStick doesn’t literally push content from phones to TVs. What actually happens is a little more subtle. The phone when snapped really just tells the set-top box to begin playing content previously accessed. It’s an illusion a la David Copperfield, but one that’s just as entertaining.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of SnapStream is its recently announced plans to partner with networking hardware maker D-Link. D-Link is expected to manufacturer set-top boxes running SnapStick software by Q2 of this year. Since D-Link also owns the popular Boxee media device company, it’s no stretch to foresee SnapStick appearing on Boxee products in the future. We’ll keep our eye out for any developments and can’t wait to give SnapStick a spin soon.