A new device from Google just passed through the FCC yesterday, as spotted by Liliputing, MySmartPrice, and many others. The new device, carrying FCC ID A4RGJQ9T and a matching model number of GJQ9T, is labeled as a “Wireless Streaming Device” which has understandably lead most news outlets to conclude that it is the next generation Google Chromecast. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re right and here’s why.
I’ve perused my fair share of FCC filings and one thing that I’ve learned is that the label/name of a product in the FCC documents is meaningless. While some companies list the actual product name and/or true description in FCC documents, others seem to be deliberately vague with their labels. Google is especially guilty of the latter.
As mentioned, the new Google device which appeared yesterday is labeled as a “Wireless Streaming Device” which sure does make it sound like it’s a streaming media player, like a Chromecast or a Fire TV. A similar device with the exact same label but a different model number (G3AL9) and FCC ID (A4RG3AL9) also passed through the FCC back in March. So either Google is about to release two new Chromecasts or neither one is a streaming media player.
When Google’s actually 2020 Chromecast passed through the FCC, it was labeled as an “Interactive Media Streaming Device.” The Chromecast’s label and the new device’s label seem like similar products until you realize that Google labeled its latest Nest WiFi router, of all things, as an “Interactive Internet Streaming Device” when it passed through the FCC. Further, when Google’s Home Hub smart display passed through the FCC, it was similarly labeled as an “Interactive Video Streaming Device.” That should make it clear that just because “Streaming” is in the device’s name on the FCC documents, it absolutely doesn’t mean it is a media streaming device for use with a TV.
I know that some of you might now be thinking that “media” is the keyword to look for to identify the next Chromecast FCC filing. Unfortunately, you can throw that theory out the window because the Nest Mini smart speaker was labeled as an “Interactive Media Streaming Device” in its FCC documents, which, may I remind you, is the exact same name that the actual 2020 Chromecast used. Further, the Stadia game controller, of all things, was labeled as a “Media Device” in its FCC documents, so the word “media” has as little meaning as “streaming” when it comes to labels used by Google in FCC filings. If you’re curious, the Chromecast remote was a “Wireless Device” when it passed through the FCC.
It should be clear now that the name of the new Google device that passed through the FCC does not indicate it’s a new Chromecast. That said, it certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be a new Chromecast. However, several other aspects of the filling, beyond the device’s label/name, indicate to me it is not a new Chromecast, which I won’t get into. If I were to guess, I’d say that the “Wireless Streaming Device” from yesterday’s FCC filing, the “Wireless Streaming Device” from the filling in March, and a “Wireless Product” that popped up in the FCC in June are all one of the new Nest cameras and video doorbells that Google announced yesterday.