Google appears to be readying a new, remote-controlled Chromecast Ultra for launch, according to recent reports. That’s because two new device models, associated with Chromecast, have been spotted passing through the FCC and now the NCC. The latter agency is the functional equivalent of the FCC in Taiwan.
Designated as model numbers GPJ100 and GPJ110, the two devices were initially spotted earlier this year. At the time, the listings suggested that the first device would be a new Chromecast Ultra. The latter was potentially a new remote control for that gadget.
Implications associated with the listings are fairly obvious. Not least of all, the new gadget would give users a new way to control media on their TV or monitor — via remote control. That’s as opposed to the current method for interacting with Chromecast via a smartphone or other source device.
This could be about more than just casting media
Now, using a remote control with a Chromecast doesn’t come without challenges. The most pertinent of those is that using a remote takes some of the current functionality and throws it out the window. As Chromecast currently works, users need to select the app and media to stream from first. Then they need to connect to the Chromecast.
Under that paradigm, using a remote control would be relatively limited. Users would be forced to start media playback and then control that playback with the remote.
Earlier reports, however, suggested that this Chromecast would also include a variant of Android TV, built-in. That would mean it is functionally-equivalent to Amazon’s Fire TV stick. All of the apps and media-streaming services would be bundled, likely alongside Google Play Store. That potentially would allow further apps and games to be downloaded.
More importantly, that means that users can just start up a show, movie, or app on their TV. And that’s without needing to pick up their smartphone or another source device.
Because this is a Chromecast Ultra device, there may also be some tie-in with Google Stadia. The streaming game service relies on Chromecast unless it’s accessed via app or the web. With the Google Play Store and Android TV, it may be possible for Google to simply include the Stadia app out-of-the-box. Conversely, it could provide the app with an update.
In either case, users would have another way of accessing their games, again without needing to pick up their phones. They could simply link their Stadia controller and start the games up with the remote.
When will a remote-controlled Chromecast Ultra arrive?
Now, the above-mentioned listings don’t necessitate that Google will launch a remote-controlled Chromecast Ultra. They also don’t guarantee that the search giant will launch any such device running Android TV or with Stadia support. But every indication does seem to point in that direction.
As to exactly when Google will launch the devices, that’s even less clear but it will likely be soon. Typically, Google only certifies its devices just before launch but it has not been consistent on that front. The Google I/O Developers Conference was scheduled to take place this month. That’s now been canceled now but Google may choose the same timeframe to announce the device anyway if that was its initial plan.
So the company should have more information within the next couple of weeks that will clarify everything about this new IoT device.