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HD-10, Microsoft’s answer to Google Chromecast, unveiled at Rs 5,999

In all the hustle bustle of the launch of Nokia Lumia 730, 830 and 930 in India, there was also the HD-10, a small screen-sharing device, priced Rs 5,999 ($100), that Microsoft introduced in India.

hd-10

The device, which is a bit like Google’s Chromecast, uses near field communication or NFC to send signals to the phone (in this case Microsoft Lumia). The signals from the phone are then passed on to a large-screen display (like a TV) using an HDMI output on the HD-10 device.

In many way, it’s like Chromecast. But in others, entirely unlike it. For example, Chromecast (price Rs 3,500 in India) uses Wifi to communicate with phone, while the Microsoft HD-10 uses NFC, a newer standard that is found only in some phones.

Secondly, Chromecast support depends on individual apps (except in a few cases where support is baked in to the device). While we are not entirely sure, it looks like HD-10 is dependent on apps to work. In the Microsoft demo, for example, the home screen (where no app is involved) was projected wireless onto the HD-10 and from HD-10, onto the TV.

Third, the HD-10 is ‘paired’ with the phone by tapping one against the other.

The big question is – does it work on non-Windows phones. We do not have high hopes on this front, but according to a Microsoft official (who was not entirely sure himself), the device should work with any phone that has NFC. In fact, the Microsoft website calls the device “an easier way to share screens for Lumia phones,” which seems to indicate that it would work only with Windows Phone.

If it does, it would solve a major pain point for consumers. At present, different companies have their own ways of projection that require that both the TV and the smartphone are made by the same brand.

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