Today the Wall St. Journal reports that Google is working on a “home-entertainment system that streams music wirelessly throughout the home and would be marketed under the company’s own brand.” They don’t mention the name of the device, but a separate source tells us it is being called Android Hub.
The Journal also says that people briefed on the company’s plans think Google’s box may stream other digital media besides music and they expect it to be unveiled later this year. We would wager at Google IO from June 27-29.
Last year at Google IO, Android@Home was given a brief demonstration. Google said they had partnered with “several industry players” to build a home automation framework that could “work with any device, from any manufacturer.”
From what we have gathered, it sounds like this Android Hub product will be Google’s next-generation of Google TV, minus the actual “Google TV” branding. Google recently sent a request to the FCC to test some entertainment devices that contained WiFi and Bluetooth, and we think Android Hub is one of those.
Google TV failed pretty miserably, but we know that Google plans to revive it with new hardware powered by low-cost ARM processors. I think some consumers were actually confused by the Google TV name, so calling it Android Hub would make sense.
My speculation is that Android Hub will be a set top box, that is WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC enabled. Look for it to be sold at a mass market price around $99-149. The device will run the latest version of Android and have limited internal storage. Media will be streamed from Google’s services and personal media will be stored in Google’s upcoming cloud storage platform. It will have full access to the Android Market for apps, movies, music, and other goods.
Hopefully some more information will be dug up over the coming days. We will update this story when we have additional details to report.