As of today, Google allows people to use their phones and tablets to mirror content to televisions with a technology known as Google Cast. The technology debuted in July 2013 with the original Chromecast and has only grown since, being the backbone of the Chromecast (2015) as well as a supplementary feature for Android TV. Using it is as simple as possible because the Google Cast icon appears in any supported apps when a Chromecast or Android TV-powered device is operating on the same network. While the technology is already pretty accessible, Google wants to open it up to an even wider audience. The company has inked a partnership with Vizio to develop new televisions with Google Cast technology inside.
Variety has the exclusive details on this one.
Instead of having traditional apps installed on the televisions, Google has asked Vizio to just integrate Google Cast at the core. This means you’ll need to have a phone or tablet with you to use the televisions’ connected capabilities. Content can be casted and streamed to the televisions as soon as you fire up an app like Netflix or Hulu, choose something, and hit the cast button. Quite the big departure from a traditional smart TV, right? Usually television manufacturers have dedicated apps for different services, meaning they handle all of the work to stream content. With Google Cast technology, none of that is needed because the televisions will act as an all-in-one Chromecast.
Controlling these televisions outside of casting might be done with a traditional remote, but Vizio is going to be pushing its own Android-powered tablet. The tablet could be included with select models while being sold separately for the entry-level ones. Vizio would use the tablet to house apps and display content recommendations rather than act as a plain, boring remote. Variety says select details on the tablet could change right up until launch.
It was also confirmed by Variety that Google has approached another television manufacturer about working with Google Cast. Google may want to expand the technology from little Chromecast dongles and Android TV set-top boxes to devices that already have screens.
The new series of Google Cast-enabled televisions could be available this spring, but there’s a chance Google has Vizio wait until Google I/O 2016 to announce them. Both Google and Vizio did not comment on the story.