We first got hints that Google was working on an improved version of its mesh router system last month, and now devices that seem to fit that description have shown up at the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the US.
As 9to5Google reports, the regulatory agency has received filings for the catchily named A4R-H2D and A4R-H2E gadgets, described as “interactive internet streaming device(s)” in the documentation.
That sounds very much like a Wi-Fi router to us, and it’s also similar to the labels Google puts on its smart displays and Google Home speakers, suggesting these new devices could come with some extra smarts on board.
According to inside sources speaking to 9to5Google, the new system will come with smaller extender beacons that double up as Google Assistant smart speakers, and a larger main router that doesn’t.
Building a Nest
It’s not much of a surprise that a second-gen version of Google’s mesh networking kit is on the way – the original Google Wifi products launched in October 2016, so they’re arguably overdue an update if Google wants to keep at the cutting edge of home networking tech.
Add in Google’s eagerness to gather all of its smart home gadgets under the Nest name and it seems likely that a Nest Wifi router pack is going to be launched sooner rather than later.
Google has a hardware event booked in for October 15, when it’s going to be showing off the Pixel 4 phones among other goodies, so it’s possible that this new mesh router system will make an appearance there.
Unfortunately we don’t know much about it from the FCC filing, beyond the fact that it’s on the way, and that it supports Google’s wireless Thread protocol (keeping all its smart home devices happily communicating with each other).