In short: VIZIO has confirmed TVs equipped with the company’s SmartCast solution are gaining in their voice control compatibility thanks to an expansion of Google Assistant support. Following the update -- which is due to arrive in the coming weeks - owners of a compatible TV will be able to make greater use of Google Assistant to control their TV through voice commands alone.
Background: The timing of this announcement was designed to coincide with the announcements that emerged from Google’s hardware event on October 9, as many of those announcements also focused on Google Assistant or devices which facilitate use of the Assistant. For example, Google confirmed Assistant compatibility is now available on more than 10,000 devices from over 1,000 brands, with VIZIO evidently being of of those brands. The actual compatibility between Google Assistant and SmartCast is not entirely new as VIZIO first announced Assistant support back in January during CES 2018, and not only for its TVs but also its speakers. Essentially, the original announcement was a SmartCast platform-wide announcement, in contrast to the current announcement which focuses more on the TV implementation. In either case, this announcement is better understood as an expansion of that original support to offer greater TV control when using a Google Assistant-enabled device, such as Google Home or the all-new Google Home Hub.
Impact: VIZIO has confirmed that once the update does arrive at the end user level, owners of TVs with SmartCast, as well as a compatible Assistant-enabled device, will not only be able to command Assistant to turn the TV or or off, but also pause, play, and stop content, as well as fast-forwarding, rewinding, and adjusting the volume. This is in addition to also controlling more TV settings-based aspects, such as switching inputs, all with a voice command starting with the usual “Hey Google” prefix. These expanded Google Assistant actions represent the latest in a long list of supports introduced by VIZIO to further add value to its SmartCast ecosystem. As these TVs have been growing in voice assistant support in general over the last year. For example, SmartCast also supports Amazon and select voice commands given to its voice assistant-based solution, Alexa.