Google is allegedly developing an Android-powered videogame console and smartwatch, as well as a follow-up to its failed Nexus Q device, according to a new report.
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, citing "people familiar with the matter", claimed Google wanted to go beyond software for mobile devices and become a legitimate hardware maker. Google is specifically working on both a videogame console and "digital wrist watch" powered by Android.
The company is also prepping a "second version" of the Nexus Q that briefly unveiled last year but never publicly released. The rumoured smartwatch will connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, while Google hopes the new Nexus Q will help sell more music and movies on Google Play. It'll also cost less than the first version.
With that said, a new Google device - with the description "media player" - recently surfaced in a Federal Communications Commission filing. The mystery product sounded a lot like a follow-up to the Nexus Q, because it boasted an external AC adapter, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi capability, and it could link up to a display.
But that's not all: Google is reportedly embarking on this new hardware initiative in reaction to "expectations that rival Apple will launch a videogame console as part of its next Apple TV product release". The company has also noticed the success and buzz surrounding Ouya and other startups that have recently launched Android game consoles.
Google will release at least one of the three products this autumn, alongside the next version of Android. Google is looking to include its upcoming mobile software - known internally as "K release" or "Key Lime Pie" by the media - in a range of products like laptops, refrigerators, etc.
Key Lime Pie showed up in a few developer presentations at Google's I/O event in San Francisco last month. One slide depicted a top-hat-wearing Android sitting on a bench snacking on what looked like key lime pie. While not a confirmation of anything, it seemed like a wink to an upgrade that a lot of people have talked about.
Google plans to allot manufacturers more leeway to use Android in appliances and wearable devices. Hewlett Packard, for instance, is working on laptops running the next version Android, software that's been fine-tuned to work better with budget smartphones. Google hopes to continue pushing low-cost Android devices in developing countries, therefore strengthening its dominance in the global market.
Speaking of low-cost smartphones, the Mountain View-based company is supposedly manufacturing some on its own. The devices could launch in developing markets and in areas where Google plans to "fund or help create" a next-generation wireless network.
The Wall Street Journal also reported last month that Google was working to connect a billion or more new internet users in the emerging markets of Africa and Asia with an infrastructure that supposedly differs from the company's existing Google Fiber service. Google was eyeing ”high-altitude platforms” – or special balloons/blimps — that could provide wireless Internet access for areas reaching hundreds of square miles.
And, that's about it. Talk about an onslaught of new rumours. Google clearly wants to take things to the next level - if any of this stuff pans out.