Have you heard of this tiny, simple, and powerful device from Google that sells for just $35? Chromecast was released last summer with huge fanfare, quickly selling out in most stores.
Plug this little guy into the back of your TV and before you know it, you can view and control internet content on the big screen directly from your phone, tablet, or computer. Chromecast is one of those super-simple devices that does its job seamlessly and beautifully.
What is it Exactly?
If an alien mothership and a USB thumb drive had a lovepuppy, Chromecast would be it.
Quite simply, Chromecast uses your Wi-Fi network to beam video content from your tablet, phone, or computer to your TV screen with minimal technical effort.
Chromecast is slightly bigger than your typical thumb drive and you plug it into any TV’s HDMI port. It is powered (see photo below) by plugging the other end into a wall outlet or your TV’s USB port (if it has one).
Next, download the Chromecast app for your computer or mobile device (Apple or Android).
Now any video you watch in your Chrome browser (or certain apps such as Netflix and YouTube) can be essentially broadcast to your TV with a click of a button.
Honestly, it’s as close to magic as technology gets.
Chromecast in Veterinary Medicine
Now that you understand how you can stream episodes of Breaking Bad from your computer to your TV, let’s talk about the more relevant issue: how can this be useful in your veterinary life?
What if you could beam client educational content from your tablet to an exam room TV screen during appointments?
What if you could control waiting room TVs via your receptionist computers without expensive wiring? Or what about running a training session with employees or providing entertainment in your break room?
The possibilities are endless.
Keep in mind that as with any new technology, there are reports of difficulty connecting on certain types of Wi-Fi networks (public ones, those with poor signal strength). But for $35, it’s hard to refuse.
Try it out and let us know how you are testing Chromecast in your veterinary clinic.
About the Author
Dr. Caleb Frankel is an ER veterinarian, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He currently divides his time between two roles: emergency veterinarian at VSEC, a 70-doctor referral hospital in Greater Philadelphia, PA (USA) and the founder of Instinct Science, a new animal health company helping the world’s state-of-the-art veterinary practices streamline their care through medically-driven invoicing and thoughtful automation.
He served as Director of New Product Development at Brief Media for 4 years where he lead the development and launch of products such as Plumb's Veterinary Drugs and New York Vet. Follow Dr. Frankel on Twitter @VMDtechnology.