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 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.

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.