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Google and the mystery device: Spirit and body unite

business Updated: Feb 10, 2012 19:40 IST
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Apple has it. Microsoft has it. Facebook doesn't have it, yet. These are some of the closest competitors of Google. And yes, Google now has it now. Hardware, that is. As competition heats up and the world's biggest technology giants are trying to be one up each other, it's no longer about being just online on the cyberspace, as Google started and where Facebook is right now. Simply as a website Google.com, the search engine, it bridged the gap between offline and online to checkmate Microsoft, through Google Gears. To dominate the market further it went offline with its Operating System and now it has gone solid i.e. in hardware.

Google files application for an entertainment device
According to the Federal Communications Commission website "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."

The purpose of this device
FCC website has an application by Richard Whitt, Director and Managing Counsel Telecom and Media at Google and the it further states the purpose as "Testing throughput and stability of home WiFi networks using an entertainment device. Testing will include functional testing of all subsystems, including WiFi and Bluetooth radio. 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." (for more you could check out FCC website)

The Motorola connection
Last year in August I had written about the 'Google-Motorola Deal - The Future is in the Pocket'. Well that acquisition can well be outside the pocket! This could possibly be one of the fruits of the $12.5 billion seed sown by Google. Interestingly last year I had mentioned "What this deal means would be clearer in the days to come but it does mean the deal comes with 17,000 patents, the deal also has another 7,500 pending, all now going to Google." Though, nobody quite knows if there is a Motorola connection as yet.

What could it be?
Google has been tight lipped and there isn't much available in terms of facts of this. Cnet.co.uk is only guessing when it says "So what could it be? It's unlikely to be a TV, since Google is already sneaking its Android operating system into tellies via manufacturers like Sony and LG. Could it be a wireless speaker system like Sonos?"

Well its a Google and knowing Google, the implications of this device and the entry of Google into the hardware space could be nothing less than grand. Let's wait and watch what it could possibly be.

Puneet Mehrotra writes on technology www.thebusinessedition.com
puneet@tbe.in

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