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Google Testing Mystery “Entertainment Device” in Employee Homes

by Brandon Russell | February 3, 2012February 3, 2012 4:30 pm PST

android at home featGoogle has overtaken our lives on both a global and local level through offerings like Android and Google Maps, just to name a few. They’ve even conquered consumers’ homes with Google TV, although that wasn’t quite the resounding success manufacturers hoped for. Still, the search giant is on the move to further test its mettle on a more intimate level (i.e. in your home), GigaOm reports, though what exactly Google is up to is a complete mystery.

It seems the Mountain View-based company filed an FCC document in December of last year asking for permission “to test a mysterious Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled entertainment device in employee homes in four U.S. cities.” GigaOm suspects it might have to do with a set-top-box style device, or perhaps an addition to Google TV. Smart TVs have been all the rage so far this year, so maybe it’s something along those lines.

Per Google’s filing, the document states the mystery 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.” Tests of the 252 unknown devices are reportedly set to be conducted between January 17 and July 17 in Mountain View, California; New York, Cambridge, Mass. and Los Angeles.

The Verge narrows speculation down by recalling the previously announced Android@Home, which we saw earlier last year. Basically, the technology, according to what we wrote when it was announced, would lead to a “cohesively networked home that can seamlessly interact with your mobile device. When you leave, your home network knows that you’re not on the premises, so it shuts off your lights and any curling iron, stove, oven or running faucet left on by accident.” That’s not even the half of it.

The mystery tech is currently out there, being tested (possibly even in your neighborhood). Whatever it is, inquiring minds sure as heck want to know. Are our entire houses about to be Google-fied?

What are your hopes for this mystery tech?

[GigaOm, The Verge]


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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