Earlier, we reported about a mystery entertainment device by Google making an appearance at the FCC, and we’re guessing this could be the first Android@Home commercial device. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is developing and plans to market a wireless, music-streaming home-entertainment system. This would mark the first time Google would be designing and marketing a consumer electronics device under its name.
Apparently, people briefed on Google’s plans say that the company’s entertainment device has been in development for years, and is expected to be unveiled later this year. The device is said to stream music from Google Music’s storage service and serve it wirelessly to Web-connected devices, including a set of Google-made speakers. Streaming video through the device could come in the future as well. The whole system would be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, though it is unclear at this time if the controller devices have to be Android-powered.
With Google TV’s tepid response in the market, it is believed that the plan this time is to offer the entertainment device at a more affordable price point than competing systems, such as the products designed by Sonos, Inc. One possible hiccup could be that this plan puts Google in direct competition with other Android hardware manufacturers that are typically seen as partners.
There is no question that a home entertainment system, at a reasonable price point, tied to a growing, extensible platform like Android, could do well in the market. Improper pricing of a product in this economy has been a major factor in the failures of some decent Android hardware so I’m hopeful Google understands this and will provide not only a great product, but a great value.
source: Wall Street Journal