Google is asking the Federal Communications Commission for permission to test a mysterious Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled “entertainment device,” in employees’ homes in four U.S. cities. So inquiring minds want to know, what exactly is it and is Google trying to build its own devices?

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Google is asking the Federal Communications Commission for permission to test a mysterious Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled “entertainment device,” in employees homes in four U.S. cities. So inquiring minds want to know, what exactly is it? And why is Google filing for the experimental license? Does that mean the search giant is getting into manufacturing its own devices?

On the what is it category, it appears to be homebound, so it could perhaps be a set-top-box style device, or a new addendum to Google TV. Here’s what Google’s application, which was filed in December, offers in terms of information:

Google is developing an entertainment device that requires testing outside the laboratory environment. The device is in the prototyping phase and will be modified prior to final compliance testing. … Users will connect their device to home WiFi networks and use Bluetooth to connect to other home electronics equipment. This line of testing will reveal real world engineering issues and reliability of networks. The device utilizes a standard WiFi/Bluetooth module, and the planned testing is not directed at evaluating the radio frequency characteristics of the module (which are known), but rather at the throughput and stability of the home WiFi networks that will support the device, as well as the basic functionality of the device. From this testing we hope to modify the design in order to maximize product robustness and user experience. Utilizing the requested number of units will allow testing of real world network performance and its impact on applications running on the device, so that any problems can be discovered and addressed promptly. (emphasis mine)

Google asked to test 252 devices between January 17 through July 17 in Mountain View,Calif.; New York, Cambridge, Mass. and Los Angeles. Its employees will have them, so maybe you can hit a Google employee’s home to watch the Super Bowl and then start sniffing around.

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  1. I’m hoping its the Google Music powered stereo that they demoed at I/O last year.

  2. I’ll take two.

  3. They filed a similar application for a “next generational personal communication device”: https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=50183&RequestTimeout=1000

  4. Whatever it is, you can bet that part of it’s function is to collect personal information.

  5. Morgan Warstler Friday, February 3, 2012

    I smell video encoder.

  6. Google bought SageTV a while back. Maybe a new version of Sages extender hardware?

  7. Google TV Nexus

  8. It has to be Google TV with a monitor built around it.

  9. Game player…look at popularity of XBox

  10. Lindsworth Horatio Deer Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Google is planning to launch a Cloud Based Gaming platform. they already tweaked Google Chrome 16 to run Console quality games in their Native code, so a Cloud-based console is most likely device they are planning to test.

    Google it seems is not satisfied with just Android on all smartphones; now they want to do the same in the Console and Portable Gaming market as well using Cloud Gaming!!


  11. It could be Google@Home – their home automation foray. So many cool things it could be.

  12. In think it’s something related with video games.

  13. It’s a robot.

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  15. Spielplan Bundesliga Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    its about time somebody comes out with a good, easy-to-use home-music-video system (before Apple does…)

  16. Networked media centre/server of sorts.

  17. SageTV 2.0….

  18. Karl – you and me both.

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