Google is working on its own AirTag that pays homage to The Mandalorian | Rumor



Google is building its own version of the Apple AirTag, according to what Kuba Wojciechowski reports. The developer and leaker says the device is codenamed “grogu,” which is the official name of the character who initially rose to fame as “Baby Yoda” in the Disney Plus-exclusive Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian. There aren’t many concrete details. , but it is easy to contextualize the little that is known in an initiative by Google to create a localization network capable of competing with that of Apple.

But let’s start with the tracker itself. “Grogu” (or “groguaudio” or “GR10”) is a project under development at the Nest division, although it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be launched under this branding. It is known to integrate a loudspeaker, and there seems to be support for two connectivity technologies: Bluetooth LE (BLE) and UWB (Ultra Wideband). Apparently it will be available in different colors. The speaker can have different functions, as we have seen in AirTags: the user can make it ring to help locate a device, or it can be set to ring if it is removed from the user (eg theft).

In recent times, by the way, Mishaal Rahman of exper noted that Google has added a new product category to its Fast Pair technologythe protocol that allows you to associate devices and accessories in an ultra-fast and simple way via Bluetooth LE, i.e. the “Locator Tags“. It’s easy to imagine that these are precisely the trackers covered by this article. Furthermore, already towards the end of last year there were rumors that the next Nest Audio smart speaker, currently under development, will also include a UWB chip.

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In the Apple world, UWB is the primary communication protocol upon which the “Where is” network is based dedicated to localization: it is found for example in iPhones from 11 onwards (except the SE), in Apple Watches from series 6 onwards, in second generation AirPods Pro and in HomePod Minis, as well as naturally in AirTags. It seems evident that Google is trying to create a similar network, even if for now the diffusion is much more limited. Only the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro are equipped with a UWB chip, while looking at other manufacturers we can mention Xiaomi MIX 4 and some top-of-the-range Samsung Galaxy smartphones (Note 20 Ultra, S21 and S22 Plus/Ultra, Z Fold 2, 3 and 4), in addition to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earphones. Samsung has also created its own tracker, called the Galaxy SmartTag, but the UWB is only present in the Plus variant.

Apparently Google is also working with multiple chipset manufacturers for facilitate the integration of Fast Pair, with the ultimate goal of making it easier for partner manufacturers to create their trackers. Interestingly, UWB shouldn’t be a requirement to be part of this location network: Bluetooth LE will suffice. However, UWB is much more accurate, so let’s say it’s preferable.