Mozilla Pushes Chromecast Competitor Matchstick

Right now, Google's Chromecast doesn't have a direct competitor; it does a lot of the same things as other set-top boxes, but it's a fairly unique beast. Mozilla seeks to change that with Matchstick: a streaming stick that runs on Firefox OS and functions very similarly to its Google counterpart.

Gigaom explained that while we have known about a Firefox OS Chromecast competitor for a few months, Mozilla may have finally revealed its name: Matchstick. The information comes shortly after a new Firefox feature that allows users to stream content to Chromecasts from Firefox (previously, users could only interact with Chromecast via the Chrome browser).

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aBitCool, a hardware and software manufacturer with a penchant for Firefox OS, is the company behind the stick. Recently, the company began to throw around the word Matchstick on its site, leading Gigaom to conclude that Matchstick is likely a name for the Firefox dongle. aBitCool would not confirm this, but the name seems a likely choice.

Early versions of the Matchstick were small gray HDMI sticks, different from Chromecasts only in that they included caps over the HDMI half, presumably for safe transportation. The Matchstick worked very much like a Miracast device, broadcasting exactly what was on a tablet screen to a TV, but the final version may well have dedicated apps as well.

For more information about the Matchstick and how it will differ from the Chromecast, videophiles have little choice but to wait and see when aBitCool will tip its hat. In the meantime, if you like the Chromecast in theory but have a penchant for Mozilla products, hold off on buying a streaming stick for now.

The Firefox OS, until now, has only been intended for use on smartphones and tablets. The open-source OS was first demonstrated in 2012. In January 2013, ZTE confirmed they would introduce the ZTE Open C phone. There exists an app marketplace that we could see being ported over to the streaming media stick.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

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