Screen Shot 2016 11 10 At 11.35.55 Am.0.0.1478777840

We’ve been waiting years for Google’s tiny radar to realize its potential. Now it looks like the company is at least giving Soli a chance. According to the documents At the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Google now has a mysterious “wireless device” that includes short-range 60 GHz radar technology, as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and some sort of “motherboard.”

What could this device be? one early educated guess so it’s just the new Nest Thermostat, and that might make sense. FCC filings do not indicate that this device has radios other than 2.4GHz and 60GHz; The 2020 Nest Thermostat was similarly lit on radios, but it used Soli’s radar to automatically detect when you’re in front of the thermostat and illuminate a screen hidden invisibly behind the mirror. Of course, it would also make sense for a thermostat to be wall-mountable or even “base-plate”. stand.

The new device has a “motherboard”.
Photo: FCC

Google’s update to the 2021 Nest Hub, which adds Soli radar for sleep tracking, seems unlikely — the smart home hub will certainly have low-power radio technology like Thread or Zigbee to control other smart home gadgets, and nothing about either. there is no word. here. But in 2024, I’d expect any Google smart home gadget to have Thread, so would it really be a thermostat or smoke alarm or that sort of gadget?

Even a pair of AAA batteries appear in the FCC filing for the 2020 Nest Thermostat, so it looks like a fixed thing, as there’s no mention of batteries. Today’s presentation shows that the new mystery gadget is either connected to AC power (via a “mounting box”) or connected to a USB cable connected to a laptop. (Early Nest Thermostats technically there are USB ports can be used to charge.)

I have a hard time imagining it being a smart speaker with only 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, since even Google’s cheapest Nest Mini speakers support the 5GHz band.

Could this be the leaked Pixel Watch 3? One of Google’s earliest tech demos for Soli was on a smartwatch, and Google’s watches don’t use the 5GHz band; 2.4GHz, Bluetooth and Soli would be enough for the Wi-Fi-only version of the watch, and there could be a “mainboard” charger. No, Google claims that this device will normally be at least 20cm away from a person, and therefore has not conducted a radiation test:

It’s not a device you’ll wear or hold.
Photo: FCC

This is similar to what was said about the Nest Thermostat in 2020: “The antenna of this product is at least 20 cm from the user’s body under normal use. Hence, this device is classified as a Mobile Device.”

Any FCC sleuths have a better idea? I think it remains a mystery for now.