Streaming sticks like the Chromecast are cheap and small devices that make it easy for users to get started with a device. They’re small, easy to be placed anywhere, and the don’t require a lot of power. If your TV has a USB port, it could be powered through that. Then it just has an HDMI port that connects to your TV and displays content.
That is the idea behind the new Android TV device called the “Life Stick” from Japanese company LEONET. This is an official Android TV, with Google apps such as YouTube and the Play Store. It does also work like a Chromecast, allowing users to cast content from their phones to this device. It’s a streaming stick that provides both casting and native applications.
LEONET will be adding their own software to the Life Stick. Their custom app is designed to provide users with life information such as the weather, news, and things as esoteric as your garbage collection date. You can see some of these will appear as notifications on the launcher screen in the photo above. There will also be video services included with the device.
As you can tell by this photo of remote and device, the Life Stick is very small. Internally it’s not very powerful. It has a Snapdragon 410 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage. These are not terrible, but this won’t be suitable for playing high performance games or apps. It also seems to lack any additional ports, preventing anyone from expanding the device storage with a USB drive. The remote looks similar to the Nexus Player remote but branded differently.
Bringing more Android TVs to Japan should be good for the platform, and there are a number of Japanese companies interested in this device. The Life Stick was only recently announced, and there doesn’t appear to be an official release date at the moment. However, we look forward to learning more about this device as it is released.