Reimagining Chromecast Home - A PrototypeTest it: http://todaycast.tv (desktop only for now)
Recently there have been a lot of rumors that +Google
is working on a home screen replacement for Chromecast. While I think this is a great idea, I have to admit that I cringed a little when I heard the news because I’ve been working on a prototype for a very similar concept. And although this is still in early stages, I thought I would go ahead and share it with the world to help me determine whether or not I should continue developing it.
Let me be the first to say that I really like the default Chromecast home screen. The images that Google picks from the amazing collection of Google+ photographers are breathtaking and far better than anything my friends or I are capable of creating.
But since day one of owning a Chromecast I’ve wanted to be able to personalize the slideshow of photography that moves across my screen. And I don’t mean I want to manually fling my photos from my phone to my TV screen. There’s a time and purpose for that.
But what I really want is a visual dashboard of what’s happening in my life and in the lives of the people with whom I’m connected. Why should I manually go out and check all these different streams of content if I can use the idle time on my television to passively bring these streams to me (particularly the visual ones likes photos and video)?
The idea is simple. RIght now, it’s just an always updating slideshow of your Instagram stream coupled with local time and weather information. I envision it, however, allowing you to include photos or albums from a large variety of social networks or hashtag/keyword searches. You could have channels of content that get delivered based on network (Twitter, Google+, YouTube) or category (fashion, technology, cats). One day, I would love to be able to display notifications of missed calls, texts, current music playing, and other timely information (calendar events, breaking news headlines, etc).
Here’s the problem: This is not a Chromecast app. This is just a web page right now. I’m a part-time web developer, not an app developer. And this is just some crazy idea I had because I wanted to make my Chromecast home screen more interesting and relevant to my life.
So I spent a few hours here and there over the past week or so creating this prototype
. I emphasize prototype because it is not without bugs and glitches. For instance, on my Chromecast the framerate is a lot choppier than I would like. There is only one view/scrolling option; I would like to have many more. And like I said before, this is not an app. You need to cast your browser tab (yes, desktop only for now) to the Chromecast to see the effect
(you may need to resize the browser to get a full screen view).
If you have an Instagram account, give it a try and tell me what you think. If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can still view the “Popular” feed and do hashtag searches.
Is this something that you would be interested in having in a full-scale app or home screen replacement? What other features or services would you like to see included? Is it even possible to build a home screen replacement for the Chromecast? Should I spend any more time thinking about this or just shut up and go back to cleaning the house?
I’d love to hear your input. Thanks, here’s the link: http://todaycast.tv
cc: +Will McCain +Jennifer Ruggiero +Russell Holly +Jason Howell +Gina Trapani +Paul Terry Walhus +Ron Richards +Phil Nickinson