No one expected the Chromecast to be the mainstream hit that it is when Google launched the tiny streaming stick, but low and behold Google’s HDMI dongle for casting media to the big screen has become widely popular, on a level that many thought would be tapped into by the now defunct Nexus Q which never truly saw the official light of day. Yes, the Chromecast has had much success and with good reason, it is an extremely easy option for consumers to get the content they watch onto their TV’s, in any room in the home just by plugging the dongle into an open HDMI port, and for a really low cost of $35. This same capability to stream media to any TV in the home just by unplugging it, is also the same thing that makes it portable and a popular option for travel. According to Google, the Chromecast is popular to the point that it has seen users hit the cast button nearly 400 million times just about three months ago, and over 650 million times as of today.
This success has led Google to start exploring where to take the Chromecast next, and they explained to GIGAOM that there would be a second version of the Chromecast which they hope will allow them to explore how to pair a large screen and small screen Chromecast device together, although Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz was quiet on any extremely forthcoming details regarding what that entails. What we might take it to mean is that Google could be looking to develop a way for multiple Chromecast devices to talk to each other, as the mention of a first screen and second screen experience caught our attention, as Queiroz states that Google wants to “bring the richness of this first screen-second screen experience to life.”
Google has recently introduced the backdrop feature to Chromecast, allowing users the capability to customize what wallpaper backdrop they have showing on screen during idle times of not streaming any content, which is just one way Google has given some depth to the Chromecast experience. GIGAOM also points out that Google is currently building out an ecosystem that appears to involve multiple Chromecast devices, referring to the Chromecast as one endpoint of the experience and other Chromecast devices as the other endpoints to the whole deal. We don’t really know what Google’s plans are, but it sounds like they have ideas in mind to make the Chromecast a bit more interactive perhaps with version 2. Are you a Chromecast owner? If so what do you use cast the most?