The Chromecast may not be the only entertainment-oriented device coming from Google, as a new Wall Street Journal report says the company may have (or had) another similar device in development.
According to the publication, Google demoed an Android-powered set-top box at CES 2013 back in January. Similar to products such as Apple TV and Roku, the product “had as a core feature Google’s video-conference service, Hangouts” but also included a motion sensor in addition to the camera.
Andy Rubin, Android’s former chief, apparently showed the prototype in Las Vegas, and the product should have been unveiled at Google I/O, according to one of the people briefed on the mater.
The WSJ says it’s not clear whether the product has been scraped off and replaced with the Chromecast or whether it’s still in development, but reveals that the set-top box had more advanced functions.
We’ll add that Rubin is no longer in the picture and things may have shifted inside the company once Sundar Pichai took over the Android division.
Apparently the unnamed device would let users stream video from YouTube or the Google Play Store, but also access Android apps and other services. The Chromecast lets users stream video and music from the certain web-based services only, although the device is expected to offer more features to users in the future.
We will note that this isn’t the first time the publication speaks about potential new Google products. Last month, the WSJ said the company would launch new products in the future including a smartwatch, an Android console and a Nexus Q replacement.
Furthermore, the WSJ also reported a few days ago that Google may be interested in launching an “Internet-television service similar to cable TV,” a move that would complement its other entertainment-related initiatives.
That said, we’ll be on the lookout for such a product. What’s certain is that the cheap Chromecast is already selling out alongside those free months of Netflix access, so Google looks like it’s on the right track with the device.