It seems that Google isn’t wasting any time, after announcing the Chromecast, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google might be secretly preparing a new device, another way of entering the living room. As a reminder, Chromecast is an HDMI dongle that allows you to stream content from different sources like YouTube, Netflix and Google Play and use your device as a remote, whether it’s an Android device, an iOS device, a Chromebook or just a Chrome browser.
This new report says that Google showed off a set-top box in a private presentation at CES 2013 held in January, the presentation was made by non other than Andy Rubin, who at that time was the head of Android now under Sundar Pichai’s command along Chrome. The device is said to be based on Android with features like video calls through Hangouts. The people present at the demo said that the device had both a video camera and a motion sensor, most likely to control the device similar to how Microsoft’s Kinect does with the Xbox.
The Chromecast is not a set-top box, it’s just not meant to be one, this new device is much more reliant on other devices, such as your Android or iOS smartphone and essentially all it does is funnel content from a particular outlet to your TV. The WSJ report adds that the device showed was able to stream YouTube videos, TV shows and movies from Google Play, access Android apps and games and digital media services like Netflix and Pandora.
The device was planned to be shown at Google I/O in May of this year, but we know that didn’t happen. Even with some major differences, it sounds a lot like what Google showed at this week’s event, so we don’t know if Google decided to scrap this device and go with the Chromecast instead or if this is in fact an evolution of the Google TV platform (which has already confirmed isn’t going anywhere) that we might see down the line. We’ve heard before about Google working on a gaming device, so maybe we’ll see this in October when the new version of Android comes out. Could this be the Nexus Q replacement we’ve been waiting for? Whatever it is, seems like Google is taking the living room seriously and the battle is about to get heated.