Google to release Wi-Fi home entertainment system?

10 Feb 2012

Google is reportedly creating a home entertainment system which streams music wirelessly across the home, marking a change in Google’s strategy towards hardware.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the home entertainment system would be marked under Google’s brand. It could stream music from Google’s online music-storage service and play it wirelessly through web-connected devices. It may also stream other forms of media, such as video, in future.

Users may be able to operate the system using a smartphone or a tablet, though it’s uncertain whether the device would need to run the Android operating system.

The description of the system resembles offerings from Sonos, which lets people use their mobile devices to control a multi-room music system wirelessly. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal’s sources say Google will make the service more affordable than Sonos’ system.

The system would mark the first time Google has directly overseen manufacturing of a piece of hardware. It has partnered with other mobile device manufacturers with its Nexus range of smartphones as pilot devices for the newest updates of Android.

In November, Google launched its Google Music store for the cloud, with 13m tracks from major labels EMI, Sony and Universal, and 1,000 independent labels. It syncs the user’s record collection across all Android devices and added a new music store in Android Market. It’s currently only available in the US.