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Google testing 'next-gen personal communication device'

Google is feeling lucky: the search giant has built a "next generation personal communication device".

Google is feeling lucky: the search giant has built a "next generation personal communication device". What could it be? A new phone? A new tablet? Or something else entirely?

Exactly what this Google gadget is remains shrouded in mystery, but prototypes exist and are set to be tested in the US.

It's Google's first foray into hardware, having previously specialised in online services and the Android mobile phone software. Google partnered with phone manufacturers to make kit you can actually hold, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Nexus One.

But hardware seems to be Google's new favourite thing: the boys and girls at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California are also working on a 'home entertainment device'.

And they're also working on glasses that show you a Terminator-style heads-up display

It's not clear whether these gizmos are related, but we're definitely interested in the prospect of a next-gen device from the people behind Android. The Big G has got as far as building a prototype, and is planning to test 102 of the test devices in and around Google offices in the US.

Google filed for permission with the FCC (spotted by a SlashGear reader) for its employees to test the new doohickey, revealing to US authorities that the gizmo will include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Pretty standard stuff so far, with details of exactly what makes it so innovative still shrouded in mystery.

Google's offices are known for being ludicrously cool places to work. To see what sort of surroundings the new device will be tested in, press play below for a tour of Google's awesome new-look London office:

Google also promised a 'big announcement' today, but it's turned out to be a new YouTube app for Google TV. Google TV is yet to make it to Blighty, but we're set to see it on these shores before the end of the year. An LG Google TV and a Sony Google TV are heading for Britain, letting you install Android apps on your telly. Press play on our video below for a look at Google TV in action: