Google is reportedly working on its very own Bluetooth-enabled location tracking device to take on the likes of Apple’s AirTag tracker.
For those unaware, Apple’s tracking device called AirTag is a small circular tag that can be attached to valuable personal objects (e.g. keys, bags, apparel, small electronic devices, vehicles), which are more likely to be misplaced.
The user can activate the tracking device by using their Apple device and track it using Bluetooth in the ‘Find My Feature’ app when they are lost.
According to developer and reliable leaker, Kuba Wojciechowski, the tech giant’s smart tracker is said to be codenamed Grogu (after the name of the Baby Yoda character from the Star Wars series ‘The Mandalorian’).
The same product is also thought to have other alternative names, “GR10” and “Groguaudio”. The device is reportedly being developed by the Google Nest team.
Google is working on a smart tracker similar to Apple's AirTag, codename "grogu" – report ?? pic.twitter.com/8K6KO7tfzj
— Kuba Wojciechowski? (@Za_Raczke) January 16, 2023
Google’s smart tracker, Grogu, is expected to work on a distributed tracking network, which is similar to that of Apple’s AirTag and Samsung’s SmartTag. The search giant may likely rebrand the distributed tracking network as the ‘Finder Network.’
The device would use the Fast Pair feature, which is Google’s API for quickly detecting and pairing nearby Bluetooth devices, and will be recognized as a ‘locator tag’. Fast Pair is supported by any Android device running on Android 6 or later versions.
“I have recently found references that show that Google’s working on support for locator tags in Fast Pair,” Wojciechowski wrote in a Twitter thread.
Wojciechowski further adds that the tracker could be released in various color options and will include an onboard speaker to help users locate their missing devices by sound, similar to Apple’s ?AirTags?.
Further, it has UWB (Ultra-wideband) compatibility for more accurate location findings, which has been built into Google’s Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 7 Pro, and other high-end Android devices; however, its use has been limited. The tracker also supports Bluetooth LE.
“It has an onboard speaker, similar to AirTags. It should come in a few different colours (although I don’t know any specifics at this time). There seems to be support for UWB as well as Bluetooth Low Energy,” added Wojciechowski.
Currently, there is no information on the design and features of the new tracking accessory or when it will be released or how much will it cost.
However, Wojciechowski suggests that Google could likely announce the product together with new Pixel phones at its I/O Developer Conference in May 2023.