Google is planning to launch a wireless home entertainment system, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The device would allow users to download music and other content and stream it to devices around the home with a smartphone or tablet acting as controller.
According to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, testing of the device is now taking place in Mountain View, California, where Google is based, along with three other cities. Testing will continue to July, with a total of 252 devices being used.
“Testing will include functional testing of all subsystems, including WiFi and Bluetooth radio. Users will connect their device to home Wi Fi networks and use Bluetooth to connect to other home electronics equipment,” the application reads.
“This line of testing will reveal real world engineering issues and reliability of networks. The device utilises 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 Wi Fi networks that will support the device, as well as the basic functionality of the device.”
According to the WSJ, the device has been years in development by the company’s Android team, which has added music to the list of content available in the Android Market. it says it would likely come to market later this year.
The move could mark Google entering the hardware market rather than have CE manufacturers bring their products to the market, such as with Google TV. This move would put Google in direct competition (again) with Apple, which is rumoured to have its own complete Apple TV set on the market later this year.
The new Google Entertainment Device may very well be the project thus far known as Android@Home, noted the SlashGear blog. There is no official word from Google on it because it’s a big secret – but chances are, it’s the Android@Home Hub.