A Google device labeled as an "Interactive Video Streaming Device" has now hit the FCC, possibly pointing to the long-expected follow-up for the Google Home Hub just ahead of today's I/O 2019 Developers Conference. The gadget falls under the appropriate classifications for just such a device and details are conspicuously slim. Regardless, the label on the device, marking it with model number "H2A," and several other hints do fit the bill.
The biggest clue may be that notes on the testing and certain requirements for accessing FCC labels indicate that there will be no SIM connectivity whatsoever in this device. Instead, it relies solely on WLAN connections. Testing shows support for a variety of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
The means by which users access the label seems to line up too. That's found via navigating to the settings within a "Quick Settings" option before moving to a "Regulatory Labels" section.
This is not the first time a next-generation Google Home Hub has been rumored or leaked out. Hints in the Google Play Developer Console and other reports have suggested that this won't be a completely new device in every sense but a variant of the original. It will also be launched under a new model intended to bring display-enabled smart home hubs under the Nest branding.
Specifically, it's expected to be sold as the Google Nest Hub and will be marketed as a means to interact with that other subsidiary's camera-enabled smart home doorbells and other equipment.
A Google Nest Hub Max is expected to land at some point in the near future as well. As its name would suggest, the Nest Hub Max would be a larger version of the Google Home Hub coming in at a diagonal measurement of 10-inches. The resize and naming convention would allow Google to make several other distinct changes too, including bolstering both the audio and display technology respectively.
Audio updates, in particular, could bring the Google Nest Hub Max in line with another "Max"-branded gadget the company sells, the Google Home Max.
No camera hardware is implicated in the FCC listing in question but that's yet another change that's been speculated to arrive in the redesigned smart home hub. The change would ensure the Google-built device ships hardware that can readily compete with its Amazon-built competitors -- more directly in terms of video calling and similar features.
Arriving today at I/O?
The earliest consumers might expect to hear official word about the Google Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max is sooner than many might expect. Previous leaks have suggested the device might be announced as soon as Google I/O 2019. That's running from May 7 through May 9. That would make sense with consideration for the timing of the FCC listing.
The search giant is additionally expected to launch a couple of more budget-friendly variants of its flagship smartphone at the same event -- the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. That would make this among the most hardware-heavy I/O events to be hosted by the company in some time. Android Q and news about other software associated with Google products such as Chrome and Chrome OS are expected to make an appearance as well.