Coulda, woulda, shoulda, but Google didn’t do that — where “that” is electing a slightly sleeker, sexier design for its second-generation Chromecast. While the latest version of the streaming device has already been out and about in the public eye for over a year, Google recently revealed a patent filed in 2015 that shows off a different design for a “media streaming device” bearing the Chrome logo and integrated power cord. So yeah, it’s safe to say that this is the Chromecast that didn’t quite make it to market.
Don’t believe us quite yet? As 9to5google points out, there are a number of other clues that would suggest the recently revealed patent could’ve been the blueprint for the Chromecast. First of all, the patent was filed very close to the launch date of the Google device, and one of the descriptions in the patent reads, “a perspective view of a media streaming device showing our new design.”
Then, there are also the folks credited with the device’s design. Kristen Beck is listed as one of the inventors, and she led the Google’s “Living Room” team, which, lo and behold, was responsible for hardware products, including the Chromecast. Michael Sundermeyer also appears on the patent as a designer — Sundermeyer is Director of UX for Google Home products, and you can actually find the second-generation Chromecast as an example of recent work on his website.
Finally and perhaps most tellingly is an old image that Google shared when it was first teasing customers about the new Chromecast way back in 2015. In this photo, we can see a number of sketches that bear a striking resemblance to the images found in the patent. But alas, as we all know all too well, this is not the design Google ultimately opted for.