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September 26, 2014 AT 8:00 am

From Maker Faire – FiveNinjas introduce Slice: a hardware rethink to the open source #raspberrypi XMBC media player #piday @Raspberry_Pi

One of the Raspberry Pi projects that caught my attention at Maker Faire this year was FiveNinjas’ Slice. This open hardware project is their approach to rethinking what media players like AppleTV could have become with the spirit of the Raspberry Pi community (Slice builds on XMBC, making this project quite hackable). Expanding beyond the RasPi core to take advantage of the Pi Compute module and a number of purpose-built details such as a aluminum case to enclose it, onboard storage, and a responsive LED band to intuitively report state, this is the “media player they wished they could own.” While I found co-creator Mo Volans pitch for Slice pretty persuasive, my real reason to share this here is that it is a compelling model for commercial products built around the Raspberry Pi platform.

You might not have heard of FiveNinjas yet, but you probably would recognize the team members — including co-founders of Pimoroni (Jon Williamson and Paul Beech) and two Directors of the Raspberry Pi Foundation (James Adams and Gordon Hollingworth). While this product is in its early stages — having completed a crowdfunding process this past summer — it is an interesting test case for mainstream, open source products (and community to develop on them) emerging for Raspberry Pi no matter what happens. 😉

The MAKE video above features Mo Volans, the initial creator of the project, for a chance to see how they shared this project at Maker Faire this year.

FiveNinjas introduce Slice: hardware rethink to open source #raspberrypi media player:

Back in 2007 the first AppleTV was released. A hard disk media player that still has a cult reputation.

Apple decided they could make more money from streaming, so they let it die, and the rest of the market followed suit.

We think hard disk media players never got the love they deserved and the fight over bandwidth means that community is growing. The Raspberry Pi means the ecosystem is thriving.

Based on this, we made Slice. The hard disk media player we want to own. Something you can use, cherish, hack, upgrade and use for years to come.

Read More.

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