At some point, the screens on our smartphones weren't enough for entertainment and work. Innovations such as SlimPort and Microsoft's Continuum allow users to display their smartphones on bigger displays and televisions. This opens up the industry for more smartphone-to-TV devices from third parties, such as the SlimPort Nano Console from Analogix.
By connecting your Android smartphone to the device via the SlimPort micro-USB connector and then connecting the Nano Console's HDMI cable to a larger display, Analogix believes it can deliver the same smartphone experience as before, but in a living room setting. This allows you to watch movies, show presentations, respond to emails, and even play games from your smartphone on a larger screen.
Of course, this means that you also need a remote or controller of some sort. Fortunately, the company made one to go along with the Nano Console, appropriately called the Nano Remote. Along with the three traditional Android buttons at the bottom of the remote, the rest of the surface area is used as a trackpad, so it should feel the same as swiping or tapping on your smartphone.
For gamers, Analogix partnered with Mad Catz for use of the C.T.R.L.R. device, which is the same controller used in Mad Catz's M.O.J.O. Android mini-console, and also uses your smartphone as the main source of games. The Bluetooth-paired controller also includes media controls, as well as a mouse mode that brings up a mouse cursor on the screen controlled by the left analog stick. Support for multiple controllers on the same device is also available.
Other features for the Nano Console include the ability to charge your phone while connected in order to prevent power loss in the middle of entertainment or work, as well as an extra HDMI port to allow another device to display on screen via the Nano Console.
However, Analogix needs support from early adopters for the Nano Console in the form of a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. The goal amount is $10,000 before October 27. So far, the campaign received $3,452. The retail price for the Nano Console is $59, but customers can pledge as low as $34 (plus shipping) to get one of the first copies that includes the device and remote. At $54, those interested in the gaming aspect can purchase The Gamer Pack, which includes the Nano Console, Nano Remote, and the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R.
Last week, Microsoft introduced the Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones. In addition, the company introduced an accompanying device, the Microsoft Display Dock. However, this was a more work-focused presentation, with the goal for users to take the dock with their new Lumia smartphone and plug it into a TV or monitor, grab a keyboard and mouse, and immediately get down to business. This is made possible by a new feature in Windows 10 called "Continuum."
Analogix, on the other hand, seems to aim for the catch-all category. Instead of just using the smartphone screen, it believes that customers want something more with their device. The Nano Console seems to be the answer by providing the same capabilities of your Android smartphone and giving it a display boost to allow users to convert their living rooms or workspaces into a fully functioning entertainment and work environment, all from their Android smartphones.