We’ve seen several computers built into USB sticks, but a new design puts an Android computer in an Ethernet cable. The InnCable designed mainly for hotel travellers but could well be adapted for other uses.
The cable has an Ethernet plug at one end for plugging into a hotel wall Internet socket; there’s also support for WiFi, though that isn’t recommended as the best option. The other end is an HDMI plug. The cable also bulges slightly in the middle where it houses two USB ports and a RJ-12 serial port.
Power can come from the Ethernet socket or the TV’s HDMI socket where supported. Alternatively power can come from a USB socket on the TV or a USB charger plug to a power outlet. It’s not completely self-contained as the gadget requires a separate remote control to operate, though an API can allow third-party controllers such as a smartphone app.
The initial plan is to market it to hotels themselves and include a standard platform that includes support for IPTV, Chromecast, iOS streaming and a selection of Android apps such as Spotify and Netflix. (The makers haven’t given specs but say the processor is “blazingly fast.”)
However, the company says it’s looking into both producing customized versions for other businesses and retailers, and producing a consumer version, which would no doubt attract the interest of home modders.
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