updated 04:55 pm EST, Thu February 9, 2012
Google may tap Android at Home for own speakers
Google may be making its own wireless audio system and dipping into its own hardware, an apaprent leak uncovered Thursday. The unnamed system, purported by the Wall Street Journal to have been in the works for years, would share at least music throughout the home. It would be sold directly under Google's brand, including the speakers, but could talk to other hardware and could use a phone or tablet for control.
The finished product would be out later this year. One possibility for this is at or near the Google I/O developer conference in June, where Google often gives free hardware to those few who gain entrance.
While the details weren't expanded upon, they would most likely involve the Android@Home initiative that Google teased last year but which hasn't materialized in practice so far. The effort was meant partly to create an answer to Apple's AirPlay as well as a built-in alternative to DLNA or other media sharing formats. Along with audio, it could be used for video, home automation, and anything else where auto-discovery on a local network was important.
Google indirectly has involvement in hardware through reference phones like the Galaxy Nexus. These, however, are manufactured by a third party and just given Google's official blessing. If any wireless audio was completely branded as Google's, it would show a willingness to risk competing more directly with its partners.