We’re attending the Southern California Linux Expo aka SCALE as exhibitors this week, so drop by our booth. This year SCALE has been moved to sunny Pasadena!
(Tickets have been given out, thanks for playing)
Last month we also attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. We’ve finally recovered enough to do a little write up of the exhausting week.
This was our 2nd year attending CES and we’re finally starting to get into the swing of things. We reached out to over 30 companies and had a calendar that was full even before stepping foot in Las Vegas.
We spoke to many vendors requesting meetings, specifically targeting Android TV, the platform has evolved very well since release and has become more important since we released our software in the Google Play store.
The majority of our meetings could be put into 3 distinct categories:
We met with everyone from Android TV Manufacturers, chipset guys, and even ran across a Linux-only vendor whom I tried (unsuccessfully I might add) to convince to build a OpenElec-based OTT device. (Over The Top device, which is what a ’streaming device’ is called in ’the consumer electronics biz’) And aside from one of the major players, everyone we encountered were fans, very big supporters, and willing to help us in any way they can.
We had an interesting conversation with a company who is more than just a hardware vendor that reached out to discuss passthrough issues with an unreleased beta of their software in Kodi, and we thought the conversation might go a little rocky based on past experience with them, but ended up one of the best and most enlightening meetings we had the entire CES. Hopefully more to come from that!
There was only one vendor we found on the floor shipping Kodi ‘unauthorized’. As per the Trademark Policy, if you want to pre-load Kodi you must use an unaltered build of it from us, either through the website or Google Play and not pre-load any addons, esp not any 3rd party ones. The one company we found not in compliance was very apologetic, explained they mistakenly installed them and assured us they were not shipping that way, and ship 100% stock Kodi from our site. We’re now working towards a relationship with them, since they use a unpopular chipset, in hopes we can test out a few of their devices as well and further our relationship. Last year there were 3 or 4 non-compliant vendors, so this reduction is great progress.
These are companies that are either interested in building an add-on for our platform, or vice versa. Some very interesting folks reached out for meetings, I also reached out to a few myself. Very productive meetings and I’m excited to see what the future holds! The goal is always trying to push as many official, legitimate add-ons as we can into our own repos.
I’m most excited about a big player in this space, who I’ve been wanting to meet with for awhile, and caught up with, and found them interested in building an official add-on. No, sorry guys, it’s not Netflix, but its a very interesting proposal and I hope to work out more the details soon.
These are usually hardware vendors, who while not be directly tied to Kodi’s Ecosystem, support our ability to thrive, and vice versa. NAS makers, tuner companies, even an audio DSP company and even a fitness equipment maker! Nearly all these guys reached out to us because they’re heard that you guys, the users, have told them how awesome we are and wanted to know how they could integrate with us.
We did have some great conversations with several companies who not only want to sponsor us, but are interested in sponsoring Devcon as well. This is huge for us, as we have had to do the last few Devcon’s without any sponsors. (Thanks to everyone who bought t-shirts these past few years by the way, you’ve allowed us to keep having Devcons even without corporate sponsorship!)
I still have so much to go through, people to follow up with and relationships that are just beginning. Shout out to SiliconDust, who not only has mentored us through the tricky waters that is CES, but been constant supporters of ours, letting us rest our weary feet in their suite in between meetings and steal their snacks and drinks multiple days in a row.
A big thank you to all the companies who bought us a meal, and all the users who stopped us to snap photos when they saw a bunch of geeks walking around with Kodi shirts. Especially huge thanks to all the users, because without your commitment, donations, and keeping us on our toes, we wouldn’t be one of the biggest and most active home theater software projects out here.