Boxes that let you stream digital media are a dime a dozen, but very few of them are as slick or cool as the Qubi. Based out of Australia, a company by the same name as the product is building a streaming device that can not only stream music and video, but doubles as a gaming console with full access to the Google Play store. Based on a 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor, the Qubi is very responsive and comes with 16GB of storage to fill up with apps and games. Qubi also comes with a neat remote that doubles as a keyboard and mouse and is compatible with a wide variety of game controllers.
The best part of Qubi is the interface. Based off of XBMC, Qubi has a slick interface and downloads posters and meta data for everything you watch. And since it’s all wrapped around Android, any streaming service available for your phone or tablet are available for Qubi, meaning Netflix, Hulu+, Pandora, Youtube and many more will be available on day one.
But wait, what about the games? Since Qubi has full access to the Google Play store it will work with all gamepad compatible titles (140+ titles). This also means that you can use your existing account to play all the games you’ve already purchased.
Q & A
We recently got a chance to have a Q&A session with Sam Brown, founder of Qubi and lead designer of the Qubi streaming box.
First of all,Thanks for answering our questions. For starters, can you tell us a few words about your project?
With Qubi we wanted to make something that was unique to the market place. We identified 2 key uses for Android boxes; games and multimedia. The key for us was to combine the two in one easy to use unit that worked out of the box.
Why did you decide to start a campaign on a crowd funding platform? Why Kickstarter?
We decided to release our product on Kickstarter due to the high cost’s associated with manufacturing. We initially considered private branding of an existing Android STB however we were not happy with the quality of the units we tested.
What advantage/uniqueness you are bringing to the table?
The key benefits of Qubi is that we have designed a user interface for the TV. Our unique feature would be that we have incorporated on the home screen the ability to browse all your local media, Android games and streaming services. The ability to download games from Google Play without having to buy from another store it what set’s us apart from other Android Micro Consoles.
Is this your first product?
This is our first Kickstarter project however we have been building HTPC’s for clients using for just over 3 years. These devices would usually cost around $500 to the end user so the ability to provide a better unit at 1/3 of the price really go us excited.
What kind of rewards did you come up with? What would be your advice to others regarding the rewards?
Our reward’s are pretty simple, we have an 2 early bird price breaks and a premium price for people who want to be Beta testers. I think the most important thing in any project is to reward the early adopters.
What would be your advice regarding creating a project on Kickstarter in general? How important was the video?
The video is one of the most important things in your project, it is important to show what your product does and why you think your product is unique. We didn’t want to put too much content in our main video so we made a second video that runs through a complete product demonstration.
What did you do to promote your Kickstarter campaign?
All I have done so far is release it on Kickstarter we were lucky enough to get quite abit of support out of Germany and Switzerland but have pushed out a Press Release today.
Can you give us some history on your company?
Qubi Enterprises was established in 2009 as a consultancy business part of what we did was set up home theatre systems. We experimented with all the leading brands media centers with varying degrees of success. We saw the potential of the Android Platform when XBMC was announced in mid 2012 and started looking into possible solutions for our customers to this day we haven’t been able to find one that works off the shelf which is why for the last 18 months we have been developing our project.
Please tell us something which isn’t written in your project page which worth mentioning.
We will be releasing a survey on our Kickstarter page in the coming week with options for stretch goals. One of the stretch goals is access to live tv.
Qubi currently has a Kickstarter campaign where they’re asking for $500,000 to help make their product a reality. Donating will not only help bring the Qubi to market, but it will also gives you special access to the developer’s forum so you can have a say in how the product develops. If that’s not enough, donating $119 or more will give you your own Qubi streaming box as well as access to the uncompiled source code for all you tinkerers out there.