Piixl’s Jetpack aims to bring gaming to your living room as unobtrusively as possible, by hiding in plain sight – it straps to the back of your TV like a jet pack.
The Jetpack is built for both PC and SteamOS gaming, an easy goal to reach since SteamMachines are basically PCs anyway. Attaching it to the back of the TV seems fairly straightforward, unless you have a type of TV that features a lot of IO ports on the back of the set. I asked a Piixl representative a few questions about this and other matters, and they were kind enough to send a detailed reply back.
Q. Many TVs are designed with a lot of rear-facing IO and power ports; have you run into many cases where the design of the Jetpack conflicts with these sets? How would the owner of such a set avoid the issue?
A. It is true there are some models of TV that will always interfere with whatever is behind them, whether it’s a wall or a wall bracket. So far there were no issues on the TVs we’ve tried it on, as we used angled connectors when faced with I/Os and power ports, but we’ll include spacers in case space really is too tight. To be clear there aren’t any kind of incompatibility with any TV that we’re aware of.
Q. How does the Jetpack handle heat, especially being right next to another device that generates heat? From the promotional material you have, it looks like it has several good sized fans; were there any special measures you had to take to handle the heat?
A. Yes actually, this was one of the most sensitive parts of our development. I can tell you here that we’re not using water cooling as I saw it being suggested recently on a forum. Although we played around with it, we decided not to retain it in the end, the CPU is cooled by a conventional though high performance cooler, but the chassis air flow is where we’ve had to think long and hard! We do rely on an exclusive variant of high tech centrifugal fans that were recently developed in Japan, and we also worked on the machine in Taipei with some very savvy high-density-computing experts for fine-tuning. So as far as thermal goes, the Jetpack runs quiet, cool, without warming up the TV to which it’s attached, and actually without even disrupting the eventual natural air convection that might be occurring inside the TV!
There’s no word yet on the specs of the device, but word on the street puts the price at around the $500 mark. Given that it’s geared for gaming, that’s about in line with current console prices. What do you think, readers? Would you want to strap your console out of view, or do you prefer a traditional box-type design? Let us know in the comments!