It would appear that the lost product that was the Google Nexus Q is back again – though not created with the same technology, exactly, and certainly not manufactured by the same brand. What’s appearing this week is a device by the name of PLAiR, made approximately the size of the palm of a human hand and attachable to the back of your television via its full-sized HDMI port (if your television was made in the past 10 years, you’ve got one). This device will allow users to play video from their laptop or smartphone wirelessly to the screen of their TV.
Google released a device just over a year ago by the name of Nexus Q. This device was the size of a bocce ball and was revealed at a conference for software developers: Google I/O. Because we (SlashGear) were at the event, we were given this device to work and play with, and even went so far as to give it a full standard review. It works in a manner very, very similar to this new PLAiR device.
Unlike the PLAiR, the Nexus Q required an Android device to play video wirelessly to your television. It also took up significantly more space on your television stand. Here with the release of the PLAiR, we’ve also entered an age with our mobile devices in which wirelessly flinging video from ones smartphone to the TV is all but expected – the GALAXY S 4 does it, the HTC One does it, and with the dawn of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, most future Android devices will do it too.
Unlike those devices, the PLAiR will not be using DLNA technology to connect your device to your television. Instead it uses a wi-fi signal emitted from the PLAiR hardware and picked up by your notebook, desktop, tablet, or smartphone – or basically anything that can connect to wi-fi and has a web browser.
Connecting to the PLAiR device (which will be connected to an HDMI port on one’s television) is done with a slight modification to the user’s Chrome web browser. So that is another must-have for this setup – if you can’t run Chrome, you can’t work with PLAiR. From there it’s a miniature button that floats above your YouTube videos and other app-bound videos galore – a single tap sends them playing on the television the PLAiR is connected to. Hulu doesn’t work here at the launch of this device, nor does Netflix – perhaps sooner than later though, we’ll see.
Now it’ll be a matter of marketing this device differently from Google’s Nexus Q. In that case, Google sent out the first wave of orders and gave everyone their money back because they estimated the costs to outweigh the benefits of continuing to work with the device. Perhaps we’ll see the return of that device in a new form next month. Make sure you join us at Google I/O 2013 through our Google I/O tag portal from the 15th to the 17th of May.