It looks like Google is preparing to join the race for the ultimate location tracking device, with reports suggesting that the tech giant is working on its own version of the popular Apple AirTags and Tile trackers. Developer and reliable leaker Kuba Wojciechowski uncovered references to Google‘s new location tracking tags in Fast Pair, Google‘s method for quickly pairing nearby Bluetooth devices.
According to Wojciechowski, the tracker is currently being developed by the Google Nest team and goes by the codename “Grogu” – a nod to the popular baby Yoda character from the Star Wars series The Mandalorian. The tracker also has alternate names “GR10” and “Groguaudio.” While it’s being developed by the Google Nest team, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be released as a Nest-branded product.
Wojciechowski suggests that the tracker could be released in multiple color options and may even include an onboard speaker, similar to the Apple AirTag, to help users locate a missing device via sound. He also claims that the “Grogu” trackers could support Bluetooth LE and ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. Google‘s flagship Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro mobile devices both support UWB connectivity, but its application so far has been limited to features like Nearby Share.
UWB technology offers far greater precision than Bluetooth for locating lost items, providing the ability to show both distance estimations and directions to a tag. However, Wojciechowski claims that “Even though Google‘s tracker most likely has UWB, it’s not a requirement for the ‘Finder Network’ they’re working on – BLE is enough.”
Wojciechowski estimates that Google may announce the product during the Google I/O Developer Conference in May 2023, and that the trackers could be released alongside new Pixel devices during a Google event in the fall.
The location tracking market is becoming increasingly competitive, with companies like Apple, Tile, and Samsung all releasing their own versions of the popular device. Google’s entry into the market could shake things up, especially with the company’s reputation for innovation and its vast resources.
The potential inclusion of UWB technology in the “Grogu” trackers could give Google’s device an edge over its competitors, providing users with a more precise and accurate way to locate lost items. The addition of an onboard speaker could also be a game-changer, making it easier for users to find their missing device even in noisy environments.
While we’ll have to wait until May 2023 to hear any official announcement from Google, the rumors surrounding the “Grogu” tracker are certainly exciting. It’s clear that the company is working on something big, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for the location tracking market.
Are you excited about the possibility of a Google-branded location tracker? Let us know in the comments below!