Google has asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to start testing an "entertainment device," sparking speculation about what is expected to be the search giant's biggest step into creating hardware. The device, which will be tested in employees' homes this summer, is an entertainment system that can stream music wirelessly through homes, an insider tells the Wall Street Journal. It will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and will "connect to other home electronics equipment," according to Google's FCC application.
The device, which will be sold under Google's own brand, has been in the works for years, sources say, and the company's ultimate goal is to connect everything in the home—from TV sets to light bulbs—to the Internet. "Think about your home as a network of accessories and think of Android as the operating system for your home," one of the chiefs of Google's Android unit told a conference last year, unveiling a "conceptual" multi-purpose device. (Read more Google stories.)