Samsung’s ‘Excellent Home LTE’ IoT Gadget Hits The FCC

September 12, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

A Samsung Electronics-made device bearing the model number SLS-BUT10J was certified by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) several weeks ago, with the product being submitted to the agency in late August and its certification being published just yesterday following a swift period of testing which ended last Friday. The label of the offering reveals it’s called the Excellent Home LTE, whereas its design depicted in the illustrations submitted to the FCC is rather unconventional, with the product having an asymmetrical body which resembles a fashionable vase with an onion-like texture entailing numerous seemingly intertwined layers.

The documents published by the FCC also reveal that the Excellent Home LTE is 194.04mm in height, thus being around 30mm taller than a contemporary phablet like the Galaxy Note 8. Its asymmetrical aesthetic makes its dimensions vary, though the thickest portion of the device measures 87.0mm, whereas its widest one is 195.0mm. The gallery below shows the Excellent Home LTE in more detail, with the gadget itself being entirely black, which may be one of its official color choices, provided that it eventually hits the market.

The lower portion of the device also features a control panel indented into its body with several physical buttons and a LAN port, as well as a DC 5V port, with the latter implying that this won’t be a battery-powered product, which isn’t surprising given how its size and overall design suggest that the Samsung’s latest gadget is meant to sit on a flat surface. This particular feature may hint at a simple Wi-Fi network extender in the vein of the Google Wi-Fi, which would make sense given its name. The product’s control panel also features a reset button and what looks like a key for enabling and disabling its unspecified GPS capabilities, as well as three (presumably LED) lights denoting whether its LTE, LAN, and GPS functionalities are currently active.

Apart from the product’s name and model number, the three labels submitted to the FCC also reveal that the tech giant is manufacturing the Excellent Home LTE in its factories in China, Korea, and Vietnam, with this revelation suggesting that the device may be set for a wider release. The sole fact that Samsung applied for an FCC certificate is a rather strong hint that the gadget will eventually be released stateside and that its research and development phase is seemingly over, with the company now being in the process of acquiring the certification it needs for a commercial release of its curious offering.

The firm asked for a 180-day confidentiality period from the FCC in regards to publishing the product’s external and internal photos, as well as images of the actual testing procedure and the user manual accompanying the gadget. A six-month confidentiality period is standard practice for the firm and it suggests that whatever the Excellent Home LTE ends up being, it will be officially introduced by March. While the device is most likely a Wi-Fi extender, an early 2018 launch window also corresponds to the expected debut of Samsung’s artificial intelligence (AI) speaker which the company already confirmed it’s developing with its subsidiary Harman International Industries. Samsung Electronics President of Mobile Communication Koh Dong-Jin previously said that the company’s Internet-enabled speaker is unlikely to make an appearance at Consumer Electronics Show in January but also suggested that the tech giant remains adamant to introduce it in the first half of 2018, possibly at Mobile World Congress in March. While an FCC listing may seem somewhat premature for a Samsung-made product set to be released in late winter or early spring, the certification itself also isn’t ordinary as the Seoul-based company usually doesn’t include its detailed product designs alongside label information which it knows will be made public as soon as the FCC concludes its testing, as was the case here.

Assuming that the FCC just provided the general public with the first look at Samsung’s Internet-enabled speaker, this is the same device that Harman Chief Executive Officer Dinesh Paliwal recently described as “unbeatable” in the context of its alternatives, stating that Samsung and its subsidiary are preparing a revolutionary Internet of Things platform that will prove to be superior to services like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. Even if the Excellent Home LTE ends up being just a network extender, it’s likely to be compatible with the firm’s upcoming AI speaker which was already confirmed as being capable of controlling a wide variety of consumer electronics made by the Korean tech giant.