The electronics company Vizio has an interesting vision for smart TVs. Their new 4K TVs have no smart TV features beyond supporting Google Cast. Both iOS and Android devices will be able to find and throw content onto the TV without any extra work. It’s a great feature that reduces a lot of friction that previously existed around playing content.
Another feature comes through their remote. There is none, at least not a traditional remote. The physical buttons are replaced by a tablet which is included in the TV running a remote control app. This app, VIZIO SmartCast, combines a remote control and a content discovery system. Vizio published this app on Google Play, meaning that you can also load it on your phone.
The app supports voice search. It doesn’t do a search on the TV. Your search will find content that Vizio has integrated within the app: movies, TV shows, and music are all available options. Movies can be casted to the Vizio TV in 4K, although it’s not certain if 4K content can currently be casted to other devices like the NVIDIA Shield. Additionally, there are options to control playback of casted content on the TV in addition to things like volume controls.
Being available in the app store, users should get access to future updates as bug fixes are made and new features are added. It’s free for anyone to download, although it won’t be too useful unless you have a Vizio TV.