Google is getting into the hardware business, at least that's the latest rumor. And no, this isn't about Motorola or Android, it's actual Google-branded hardware, a "home entertainment system" that would stream music from the web and keep your device in sync.
It is very likely that it will stream video as well. The device will use WiFi and Bluetooth for connectivity, both to the web and to other devices in the home.
The device sounds very much like something Sonos would build. No doubt, it would feature deep integration with Android and rely on Google Music for streaming.
YouTube already has video rentals and streams and, of course, billions upon billions of videos, so it may be a part of the device as well.
Google, a team under the supervision of Android head Andy Rubin to be exact, has been working on the device for a few years now. It even showcased a prototype device at last year's Google I/O. The company is now testing it with some employees.
The device itself doesn't sound too revolutionary, but Google is said to be competing on price.
The big news in all of this though is that Google is getting into the hardware business and in a big way, a device with the Google name on it.
For better or for worse, it's a big move for the company. On the one hand, Google has no experience with hardware. It's relied on partners so far, sometimes successfully, with Android although that's debatable as well, sometimes less so, with Google TV.
That said, Google is a big company and can afford to hire good engineers and design people for this type of device.
Google also doesn't have much experience in marketing, it's Google TV devices or the Nexus phones haven't benefited much, and no experience in retailing. It may try to sell the device online only, like it did with the original Nexus One but that didn't work out.
Still, it has managed to push Chromebooks via online and offline stores so it could do it with its new device as well. The difference, of course, is that Chromebooks are built by Samsung and Acer.
Google may be suffering from a bit of Apple envy. At the same time, Android is at the mercy of hardware makers and, as we've seen with tablets, that's not always a good thing.
Google may be itching to do its own thing on its own terms. At the same time, Google getting into the hardware business may not be such a bad thing in a world increasingly dominated by Apple.
When and if Google does launch its home entertainment system, don't expect it to be the last device coming from Google. If the company plans to start selling such a device, it must be part of a much larger strategy. Otherwise the whole "more wood behind fewer arrows" motto won't mean much.