Last month our own Tom Moccia wrote up a post about an upcoming kiosk system called Flix on Stix. The idea is that you could bring a USB drive to the machine and rent a movie for three days, or purchase it like you would any other film. Due to the encryption that would be placed on your thumb drive, you would not be able to share the film, preventing piracy.
While it didn’t sound like a horrible idea, it also sounded a little … “off”. I’m not sure why, but it just did to me.
While sitting around the press room here at CES the other day, I spotted a flier for the company that listed its booth number, so I decided to go check it out. What I found was one lone kiosk sitting in the corner of a booth, and men with big dreams.
They explained to me how they were running into some issues with people bring their own thumb drives, so they may have to sell them via the kiosk. Well, there went the price creeping up.
As for what devices they said this would work with, they said that it would work with any USB port, but then they kept mentioning a proprietary media player which got me to wondering about all those USB ports now showing up in televisions these days. When quizzed on that, they said that the Flix on Stix drives wouldn’t work with those, but they would be selling a media streamer with HDMI connections for probably around $20. Hey, look, the price just creeped up again.
Overall I walked away with the feeling we will never actually see this service launch despite the company’s dreams of being the next Redbox. As I said earlier, I thought the concept was interesting, but I had my doubts about the viability of such a service, and all of those doubts were pretty much confirmed after talking to them this morning on the floor.
There are thousands of new tech ideas each year, and some of them work, and some of them don’t. Were placing this one firmly in the latter category.