Always Innovating wants to make your dumb TV smart with a USB dongle

Would you pay a small fee to turn your average HDTV into a smart TV? Always Innovating hopes so. The San Francisco company showed off its HDMI Dongle, which adds Android 4.0 support to non-connected televisions, at this week’s Mobile Web Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Always Innovating wants to make your dumb TV smart with a USB dongle

Always Innovating debuted the project at this year’s CES, but this video, posted by Engadget, shows the Android Ice Cream Sandwich-powered dongle in action.

Once plugged into a set’s HDMI and USB port, it instantly adds the full Android ICS suite: the Android Market, game apps, email, web browsing, Netflix streaming and more. The device also comes with a remote that doubles as a motion-sensing game controller — transforming mobile-friendly single-player games like “Cut the Rope” into more family-focused multi-player experiences.

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According to the site, Always Innovating won’t actually produce the device, but has already licensed out the all-in-one ICS stick’s technology, with third party manufacturers aiming to sell models for between $50 and $100 by year’s end.

Buying an expensive new smart TV might be a stupid move after all.

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