Happy 5th birthday, Chromecast!
I kind of ignored Chromecast for a long time on this blog. It was not available in India initially and I did not try hard enough to get one from the US.
When I did however, it was almost magical experience. My friend Mike had told me that my daughter is going to be the biggest fan of Chromecast. And that’s exactly what happened.
My wife and I love our Chromecast, we have the second generation Chromecast now, but the biggest fan of Chromecast of course is our five year old daughter.
This small and simple device has changed the way we consume media at home. We have watched endless hours of Netflix and YouTube using Chromecast, looked at photos as a group, and even browsed through furniture options while we were setting up our new home.
The Story of Chromecast
The 5th birthday blog post from Google has an interview with Googler Majd Bakar—the first Chromecast engineer—and his wife, Carla Hindie—the inspiration behind Chromecast. In this interview, they explain how and why Chromecast was created.
Majd: This is back around 2008 or so. Carla was always looking for new stuff to watch, and I noticed how she went about starting a movie. She would go to her laptop to pick a movie using a streaming service, add it to her queue, and then close the laptop. Then, she’d open the movie on her gaming device. I used to watch her and think, “This is really hard … Why do you do that?”
Carla: Basically, back then TV interfaces were hard to use. The search was difficult and very slow.
Majd: I said, “Okay. Let’s build an interface where everything happens on the phone, and only the video plays on the large screen. And let’s make the hardware device that enables this experience as small and as hidden as possible.”
That’s it, mostly. The question “why should watching an online video be so difficult” is where it all started.
I am quite happy and content with how Chromecast works as of now. However, the tech enthusiast inside me is still curious to find out what Google might come up with for future versions of Chromecast!