Roku has been bringing digital media to television sets since 2002. Its devices now stream 700-plus channels and vie with Apple TV in sales. But last year, Roku unveiled a potential game changer: a thumb-drive-like dongle that plugs into smart TVs, eliminating the need for a box. It's partnered with several manufacturers to bundle the streaming stick with TVs and plans to eventually build them inside—finally becoming one with the screen. A history from founder and CEO Anthony Wood:
1_Roku Streaming Stick 2012
"This is the first of our evolution into being the platform for smart TVs."
2_Roku 2 2011
"It's based on a chip set that was designed for mobile phones, and we added a gaming remote."
"It was for streaming your music library. Most people who wanted music would buy an iPod dock."
4_Roku Player 2008
"We focused on making it small. Most people don't want boxes. Netflix streaming was our big advance."
"I was thinking about getting an HDTV and just thought, Well, it'd be cool to put art on my TV."
Illustration by Owen Gildersleeve, photo by Victoria Ling