TV maker VIZIO has launched the latest generation of its SmartCast OS.
The biggest new feature is built-in voice capabilities. New SmartCast models, the TV maker said, will ship with the new push-to-talk voice remote with Vizio Voice. Owners of older sets can download the free SmartCast Mobile app for iOS and Android, which has been updated with the ability to use the voice tech with paired TVs.
VIZIO Voice is the company’s first built-in voice capability. The tech uses natural language intelligence, to search for content and interact with the TV’s settings.
Other new features of the update include the continued addition of new free ad-supported channels. The company said that SmartCast active user accounts grew 57% year-over-year to 13.4 million in Q1 2021 while total VIZIO hours grew 42% YoY to 7 billion. Of this total, 3.6 billion hours were spent engaged with SmartCast specifically, representing a 70% increase YoY.
The final new feature of the upgrade is a redesigned EPG. The guide has been redesigned to incorporate the OS’s new voice capabilities, but the company promised it would also deliver faster performance.
Chris Vinckier, VP of Software Product Management at VIZIO, said: “With support for the latest streaming technologies, a faster and more personalized user experience, and compatibility with the newest connected home devices, VIZIO SmartCast TVs are the ultimate entertainment destination. We are proud that our products continue to be recognized for delivering a mix of premium technologies and innovations to market, and offering incredible value for our customers.”