For the past few months I’ve had a Google ChromeCast sitting on my desk waiting to be installed. For those who have not seen or heard of ChromeCast, it’s Google’s USB dongle that connects to any HDMI-enabled monitor and allows you to ‘cast content from tablets, smartphones or any Wi-Fi enabled laptop using the Chrome browser. There are even some apps that are ChromeCast enabled, such as Pandora, YouTube, Hulu and Netflix. For $35 it’s a wonderful accessory.
Using it for a few days really drove home the idea of the web, WebRTC and browser-based services. For example, beyond the entertainment aspects of the device, I was able to show and hear my Calliflower conference session from my laptop to the conference room monitor, all wirelessly. So while that can be done with other web-based conferencing services, like UberConference, it’s not yet possible with GoToMeeting or WebEx. The way ChromeCast does it is by what they call Tabcast. That means I can now have a room-based conferencing system that is connected wirelessly for less than $400, plus the price of an HDMI monitor.
With a Tabcast active, I can stream the video content right from my laptop’s web browser to the monitor while working with other apps or browser pages open on my laptop. What’s more, using an app that works on Android tablets and smartphones, I can do the same with a select group of mobile apps, making the ChromeCast dongle and an Android tablet a very inexpensive replacement for cable TV.
This is only the first generation of ChromeCast to come to market. As time goes on, this may be one of the most interesting technology accessories on the market for those who need to stay connected.
Andy Abramson is the Founder of Comunicano Inc., a boutique marketing consultancy based in Del Mar, CA. A veteran of the marketing and public relations industry, Andy has almost 40 years of experience in all facets of marketing and corporate communications. When not working he shares a love of wine, travel, dining, and technology. To hear more from Andy, check out his blog at andyabramson.blogs.com.