If you go all the way back to Google I/O 2011, you may remember the announcement of the Android@Home project, a system that would allow you to use an Android device to control lights, appliances, and other devices in your home. Since that announcement we haven't seen anything materialize, but a recent FCC filing by Google may give us a reason to renew hope for the project.

The filing calls for testing of an "entertainment device" between January 17 and July 17 of this year, to be distributed to 252 Google employees. But it's what the device apparently does that is so interesting - it will allow users to "connect their device to home WiFi networks and use Bluetooth to connect to other home electronics equipment." Sounds an awful lot like Android@Home, but it's hard to be sure. Still, if it is, that means we are moving even closer to the release of Android-compatible appliances, and there's a good chance we may hear more concrete details about the project at I/O 2012.

Name of Applicant:

Google Inc.

Please explain in the area below why an STA is necessary:

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.

Please explain the purpose of operation:

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. Utilizing the requested number of units will allow testing of real world network performance and its impact on applications running on the device, so that any problems can be discovered and addressed promptly. All devices will be used by and registered to specific individuals (all Google employees), and Google will maintain a record of each device, so that they can be easily recalled at any time during testing and when testing is complete. The devices will be tested at Google facilities and within employees residences in the following areas: Mountain View, CA: 37.421265 N, -122.085314 W; Los Angeles, CA: 33.995388 N, -118.477035 W; Cambridge, MA: 42.362754 N, -71.088023 W; and New York, NY: 40.741872 N, -74.004579 W.

Operation Start Date: 01/17/2012

Operation End Date: 07/17/2012

Source: FCC via The Verge