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Google TV exec envisions TVs becoming home hubs

20 Feb 2024 | Rasmus Larsen |

The TV as a central hub of the smart home? It could happen with the addition of Matter and Thread compatibility, according to the director of product management and UX for Google TV.

Despite the vast potential for expansion into other areas, TVs are still primarily video entertainment devices. This expansion could be driven by increased computing power and TV operating systems.

One area with potential is smart home control.

- "We've been talking about this for years, both directly at Google, but the TV industry has been talking about this for years as the TV being the center of the home," Rob Caruso, Director of Product Management & UX for Google TV, told Cord Cutters News in an interview. "Is it the home hub computer?"

Google – and Caruso specifically – has been hinting at this possibility since at least 2020. In 2020, Google also mentioned Fitness as a "big area of exploration." Despite plans to announce smart home features later that year, we have not really heard anything since.

The Google TV platform is used in TV models from Hisense, Philips, Sony and TCL as well as in devices such as Chromecast.

Samsung TV Smart Home

Samsung is also planning expanded smart home controls in Tizen Smart TVs starting wit hits 2024 TV. Photo: Samsung

Matter and Thread compatibility

LG and Samsung have already implemented or announced smart home dashboards for their TVs, along with plans to support Matter and Thread, the two new intertwined communication standards for the smart home. In the interview with Cord Cutters News, Caruso also pointed to Matter and Thread as components that will help shift the TV's role in the home further to the forefront. Matter and Thread could allow a TV in standby to control home devices without the need for WiFi or additional hubs, as long as the smart home devices also support Matter and Thread. - "It'll be interesting a year from now and we’re sitting here and saying, with all these new capabilities coming to that hardware, what is it that the platforms like us and apps ultimately can start to do beyond streaming video?" Caruso said. Microphones and cameras in Smart TVs are also potential components that may contribute to this goal, and this is something TV makers are exploring once again. - Source: Cord Cutters News

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