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A mysterious Google ‘media device’ shows up in new FCC filing

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But... what is it?

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

A new Google gadget just appeared under an FCC filing that... well, it’s kind of unclear what exactly it’s supposed to be. The filing identifies the product as a “media device” under model number H2B, which, as noted by Droid Life, fits into the naming scheme of Google’s Home (now Nest) line of products. The original Google Home, Google Home Max, Google Home Hub, and the Google Nest Hub Max were designated H0A, H0B, H1A, and H2A, respectively.

The FCC documents also show that the device is powered by a 3.8V lithium ion battery, suggesting that it may be something that is portable or at least designed to have a backup source of power. There’s a label for the bottom side of the product that depicts a skinny, pill-like shape for its base, but no indication of the product dimensions.

Image: FCC

That leaves us to wonder just what this upcoming Google Home / Nest device could be. Previous FCC filings for Home and Nest devices with a screen indicate “video” in the filing, which suggests that this product may not have an interactive display. The Nest Guard, the base station of the Nest Secure home security system, also used lithium ion batteries as backup power in case of an outage, so we’ve seen Google use batteries as an emergency power system before — so not necessarily for portability.

With Google’s recent Nest rebrand, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the company is expanding its smart home offering further, but your guess is as good as mine when it comes to a gadget that would have a backup battery and yet also be a “media device” in the smart home category. An updated Nest door lock, sans Yale? Maybe even a portable in-car device a la Echo Auto?

The FCC’s confidentiality around the full details is set to expire on November 27th, 2019, so we might learn more about it by Google’s annual hardware event in the fall. Until then, nothing like a little gadget mystery to send us off into the weekend.