The ascendancy of Google has meant the company no longer sticks religiously to its search engine roots. The California-based tech giant has recently been growing an appetite, it seems, to pledge much more of a focus in hardware after having been solely dedicated to software since being founded in 1998. The company is now reported to have filed for permission with the FCC for Special Temporary Authority (STA), a move that would allow its own employees to test a “next-generation personal communications device” in cities across the US; including Mountain View, Los Angeles, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
According to Ars Technica, Google employees will be testing a total of 102 of the as-yet-unannounced gadgets up until July 15th in normal day-to-day use in order to “evaluate the throughput and stability of the home WiFi networks that will support the device”.
This comes just a week after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is in the throes of developing a home-entertainment system that streams music wirelessly throughout the home, much like the ION Anyroom Speaker we featured in our 2011 Christmas Gift Guide.
So, what exactly is this “next generation personal communications device” that the filing poses? Well, as of now, the device is shrouded in enough mystery to match an episode of The X-Files. One would have to assume that Google’s acquisition of mobile handset maker Motorola has something to do with it, a $12.5 billion takeover that sees the search giant take over 17,000 of the company’s patents and 7,500 patents pending application. A smartphone then? Perhaps. But then you can't discount the proliferation of tablets and companies getting in on the action, an area Google might be looking to enter to overthrow Apple at its own game. We remain psyched to hear more.