While Google Chromecast, Apple TV, and Roku have shifted streaming content from our mobile devices to our televisions, they're often incomplete solutions. There's a whole Internet worth of video content — from news feeds to public broadcasting productions — that the Chromecast just won't play. But the Qplay will.
Conceived by TiVo founders Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton, the Qplay allows users to create and share personalised streams of Internet video, called Qs, across TV and mobile device platforms. It pulls video content from Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook (with more sources rolling out in the coming weeks and months) from producers like PBS, the BBC, and National Geographic, and it allows users to curate that content into personalised feeds that can be shared with other users.
It is, as Mike Ramsay recently told Gizmodo, "Flipboard meets Spotify, but for video." Just as users can share custom music playlists in Spotify and create their own topical news feeds in Flipboard, Qplay aims to do the same with a user's video content. What's more, users will also be able to access Social Qs, which pulls in video from their friends' Facebook pages and Twitter streams, as well as automatically generated Qs from major content producers.
The Qplay system consists of three components: the Qplay app, currently only available for iOS; the Qplay TV adaptor, which streams video to the television via an HDMI connection; and the Qplay cloud service, which manages all the user's Qs and handles streaming to the TV so even if the iOS device goes to sleep, the content on the TV will continue to play. The entire setup is currently being marketed as an early adopter bundle for $US50 at qplay.co. Unfortunately, it's only available in the US right now.