FCC papers reveal a strange battery-powered Google gadget
It’s officially August, which means we’re approaching the autumn hardware season, and two new FCC filings from Amazon and Google may hint at a few devices the firms may — or may not — announce.
Google’s product is rather obscure; it is just mentioned as a “Wireless Device.” It looks to be battery-operated (no AC connection), however, it can be powered through a 5V USB connection, and one graphic shows it attached to a laptop for testing. The filing might imply that this is a Nest gadget – certain Nest cameras, for example, have utilized 3.65V rechargeable batteries.
Google has previously said that the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch will be out this fall, so whatever this “Wireless Device” is, it might be disclosed when the firm releases more information about those other devices. Google did not immediately respond to a comment request.
The Amazon application, on the other hand, seems to allude to a slightly changed version of the company’s expensive Echo Studio smart speaker. The new gadget is defined generically as a “Digital Media Receiver,” and delving a little further, the filings suggest it includes an AC power cord, which allows it to plug into an outlet, and a Zigbee radio, which is often used to operate smart home items. The filing itself does not seem to be from Amazon, but rather from a firm called Flake LLC.
However, Amazon sometimes utilizes bogus shell firms for FCC applications in order to keep its goods hidden, and the photographs of Flake’s second product submitted with the agency — another “Digital Media Receiver” — are a dead ringer for the Echo Studio. And, according to the latest filing, the Echo Studio and this second item are “electrically identical” save for a different MediaTek wireless chip. It’s unclear why Amazon is swapping the chip, but it could be to address supply chain issues, as some other companies have done before: Tesla used alternative chips to help keep production going, and Panic announced last year that it would need to use a different CPU in later shipments of its Playdate gaming handheld.
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