It’s officially August, which means we’re approaching the fall hardware season, and two recent FCC filings by Amazon and Google might hint at a few products the companies might — or might not — reveal.
Google’s product is quite mysterious; the product is described only as a “Wireless Device.” It appears to be battery powered – there’s no AC connection – although it can be powered via a 5V USB connection, and a diagram shows it connected to a laptop for testing. As 9to5Google seen, the filing could indicate it’s some kind of Nest device – some Nest cameras have used 3.65V rechargeable batteries, for example.
Google has already said that the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch will arrive this fall, so whatever that “wireless device” is might be revealed when the company shares more details about those other products. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
We’re more sure of the Amazon filing, which appears to point to a barely-reviewed version of the company’s high-end Echo Studio smart speaker. At first glance, there’s no obvious connection: the new product is vaguely described as a “digital media receiver”, and digging a little deeper, the filings indicate that it has a power cable. AC, which allows it to plug into an outlet, and a Zigbee radio, which is commonly used to control smart home products. The deposit itself doesn’t even appear to be from Amazon — instead, it was deposited by a company loosely named Flake LLC.
But Amazon often uses fake shell companies for FCC filings to keep its products secret, and the photos of another Flake product filed with the agency — another “digital media receiver” — are a match. of the Echo Studio. And the new repository actually says that Echo Studio and this second element are “electric” [sic] identical” except for another MediaTek wireless chip. It’s unclear exactly why Amazon is swapping out the chip, but perhaps it’s doing it to fix supply chain issues, like what other companies have done before: Tesla replaced alternative chips to help maintain production, while Panic said last year that it would have to use a different processor in later shipments of its Playdate gaming handheld.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company often holds a September event filled with device news, but given how minor the change seems, there’s a chance Amazon won’t say anything about it at all.