If you haven’t heard of Vizio yet, you will surely be seeing the company’s name popping up in the future. The company which usually sticks to affordable TVs and speaker add ons is stepping into Android territory with their new smart audio products. No, they’re not just another run-of-the mill bluetooth enabled speaker set. The new line-up includes all that you’d expect from current Bluetooth audio solutions, with one addition: an Android powered touchscreen.
“After looking very closely at the audio space, VIZIO decided it needed to be disrupted with a combination of our leading audio and smart TV technologies. Our new portable smart audio line-up reinvent the category by combining class-leading audio performance with a full touchscreen Android platform, delivering a first-class device capable of streaming music, playing games and watching video directly from the cloud or local storage.” – Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO
The Vizio portable smart audio devices come in two flavors, one with a 4.7-inch touchscreen and one with a 7-inch touchscreen. Both devices run Android 4.4 KitKat, and work with pretty much any Android apps. That means streaming Netflix, Pandora or just browsing the web all from the little boombox. The device is equipped with WiFi 802.11n in addition to Bluetooth, allowing users to connect other portable devices to the boombox via Bluetooth if WiFi is not available.
Pricing and availability have yet to be detailed. Check out the video below to see Vizio’s new KitKat powered boombox. Press release follows below.
VIZIO Debuts Innovative, Portable Smart Audio Line-Up, Delivering Powerful Audio in an All-in-One Solution
Unique Design Frees Consumers from Mobile Devices Tethered to Speakers, Offering An Uninterrupted Entertainment Experience with High-Performance Audio and Touchscreen Convenience In One Beautifully Smart Audio Solution
Irvine, CA and Las Vegas, NV — January 6, 2014 — VIZIO, America’s #1 Sound Bar company1, announced today a revolutionary new product category with the debut of the VIZIO 7” and 4.7” portable smart audio. A solution for today’s streaming audio fan, VIZIO’s portable smart audio line-up differs from existing Bluetooth or wireless speakers by delivering a complete “smart” audio experience. Combining unparalleled high-quality audio performance with a built-in touchscreen display that runs Android KitKat, VIZIO’s latest audio innovation is built for easy direct streaming. Rather than being tethered to a Bluetooth-enabled or docked device, the VIZIO portable smart audio collection offers consumers all-in-one portability that allows audio and video apps to be streamed independently from smartphones or tablets. Thanks to Android KitKat, streaming content like music, TV shows, movies and games is easier than ever. VIZIO will be showcasing its new smart audio products at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV at the Wynn Hotel, by appointment only.
As an established leader in the audio space and America’s #1 Smart TV company, VIZIO is uniquely positioned to deliver on the needs of today’s users, who consume as much audio and video content over the Internet as they do through conventional channels. The VIZIO 7” and 4.7” portable smart audio products feature superior audio quality that even discerning audiophiles can appreciate, complete with integrated deep bass modules for low frequency fidelity. From the office, to kitchen, to beach or backyard BBQ, the portability of VIZIO’s portable smart audio line-up marries convenience with high performance audio quality in a unique, no-compromise mobile design.
Current wireless speakers or docks that solely rely on Bluetooth or a physical connection often interrupt the audio experience when incoming calls, e-mails, text messages or other notifications come through the connected device. With VIZIO portable smart audio, consumers can now discover an uninterrupted entertainment experience from a complete, standalone solution.
“After looking very closely at the audio space, VIZIO decided it needed to be disrupted with a combination of our leading audio and smart TV technologies,” said Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “Our new portable smart audio line-up reinvents the category by combining class-leading audio performance with a full touchscreen Android platform, delivering a first-class device capable of streaming music, playing games and watching video directly from the cloud or local storage.”
The innovative VIZIO portable smart audio line-up will debut with two sizes, offering either a 7” or 4.7” touchscreen display for easy access to Android apps for streaming audio and video playback. Equipped with 802.11n, apps can be downloaded and accessed whenever the portable smart audio device is connected to Wi-Fi. When out of wireless range, users can also play content from their smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth, or utilize the portable smart audio’s on-board memory for local playback of their favorite tunes. Alternatively, a USB port is available for additional storage expansion.
Designed with performance and convenience in mind, the innovative all-in-one design maximizes both volume and audio quality in a compact design, with the 7” display model featuring a sleek integrated handle for grab-and-go portability. A simple out-of-the-box set-up, similar to that of a smartphone or tablet, allows consumers to start enjoying content quickly and easily. The built-in, rechargeable lithium ion battery ensures the device can deliver hours of entertainment for a completely mobile and uninterrupted entertainment experience that frees the user to use their smartphone or tablet for other tasks.
More information on VIZIO’s innovative smart audio device, including price and retail partners, will be released closer to product availability. For more information on VIZIO’s complete product line-up, visit VIZIO.com/CES.