Google appears to be preparing to expand its Pixel brand of smart devices in the near future, with the Federal Communications Commission just certfying what appears to be a gadget belonging to an entirely different product category than what Alphabet's subsidiary delivered so far in the hardware department.
The device identified by model number G022A originates from China and has Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities, the newly emerged certificate reveals. It was also designed to work with a companion app; one that seems to be available on both Android smartphones and tablets as the FCC tested it in conjunction with an ASUS handset from the Pegasus lineup, as well as a Lenovo-made notebook - the ThinkPad L570, an enterprise-grade laptop from 2017 running Windows 10.
The Pixel possibility
The main piece of evidence suggesting this device is meant to feature Pixel branding lies in its model number: the Pixel 3 series released last year was also known as the G013a line, whereas the newly launched Pixel 3a range is identified by Google as the G020 family. Not only is it way too early for the Mountain View-based company to be releasing yet another Android handset but the fact that the manufacturer clearly stated the gadget in question has a companion app also dispels the phone theory. Nevertheless, its identifier does apper to be pointing in the direction of the Pixel branding being part of Google's plans for whatever the G022A ends up being.
Given everything stated above, the firm most likely submitted some sort of a wearable for regulatory approval. A lineup of Pixel-branded smartwatches has been the subject of dozens of credible rumors last year and while industry insiders later said the company delayed it for unknown reasons, Google never officially confirmed it's looking to expand into the wearable segment in 2019.
The newly sighted gadget certainly isn't Google Glass even though the company just recently confirmed its return to AR headgear seeing how the new enterprise model of that particular wearable already passed the FCC a while back.
What discounts the possibility of the G022A being a successor to the Pixel Buds is the fact the device also has an e-label, with the main implication here being that it's equipped with some sort of a display - more evidence suggesting it's a smartwatch or a fitness band.
Finally, it's also not likely to be a new Google Home display due to the very manner wherein it was tested; the FCC did not test its Wi-Fi capabilities, so it's assumed there are none. Instead, it focused on Bluetooth which allows it to function in conjunction with another device.
Movement on the 5G front
One last notable tidbit about the latest FCC certificate issued to Google revolves around the actual filing process that initiated it. Namely, Google did not go to the U.S. agency directly but was instead represented by Sporton International Inc. This is a Taipei-based company specializing in testing and certification that was recently involved in a wide variety of 5G activity, having also represented OPPO, helping it navigate the process of certifying its very first Android smartphone with support for the fifth generation of wireless networks.
The Taiwanese capital also happens to be Google's largest tech hub in Asia as of early 2018, so it is unsurprising that it's from there the company is handling the certification of its next-gen hardware products manufactured in China.