Apple pretty much has the mass-market phone-to-TV streaming market wrapped up with AirPlay Mirroring and Apple TV for now, but other manufacturers are looking to get in on the fun with Miracast, a new standard cooked up by the Wi-Fi Alliance and adopted by nearly every major consumer electronics manufacturer.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ is a groundbreaking solution for seamlessly displaying video between devices, without cables or a network connection. Users can do things like view pictures from a smartphone on a big screen television, share a laptop screen with the conference room projector in real-time, and watch live programs from a home cable box on a tablet. Miracast connections are formed using Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct™, so access to a Wi-Fi® network is not needed – the ability to connect is inside Miracast-certified devices.
This week in Japan, Panasonic introduced a dongle, dubbed the Wireless Display Adapter EB-L70181, which can deliver Miracast to any device with an HDMI port, bringing your games, video, and TV shows from your hands to the TV set, even if it isn’t inherently Miracast compatible. Priced at about $85US the dongle will likely be available to the rest of the world in the near future.
Miracast will likely spread from the existing implementation in some TVs and Blu-ray players now, to new Android based smartphones and tablets throughout the next year, and is hopefully going to be near universal in all but the cheapest phones in the next 2-3 years. Whether Apple will support the new standard, or just dig in its heels and insist on AirPlay, is yet to be seen, but the company has never been one to follow the leader, so personally I’m not optimistic.