Months of speculation have finally been put to an end, following Apple’s 2016 filing to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for certification of a mysterious ‘wireless device’.
The only clues the original FCC application revealed about the device, identified as model number ‘A1844’, were that it has Bluetooth Low Energy and NFC connectivity. Apple requested permanent confidentiality on all other details.
This led to speculation among Apple fans that it could be fifth-generation Apple TV, or possibly a new AirPort router. Given Apple’s efforts to popularise its smart-home gateway app Apple HomeKit, it could well have been a smart door lock too.
Finally, it seems, we have an answer – and it turns out to be none of the above. A manual published by the FCC on Sunday for the mystery device appears to be for a door access system, which BusinessInsider speculates is most likely destined for Apple’s new Apple Park campus opening in April, rather than for consumer use.
Image credit: FCC
Photos in the manual show a card reader attached to a door assembly, with accompanying instructions that say users have to “present the company provided credential to the reader.” The manual gives a brief outline of how the door system operates, which involves a standard green light and digital sound to indicate approved access, or a red light and a further sound for denied access.
Image credit: FCC
Disappointingly for all the hopefuls with grand ideas of a shiny new Apple product set to hit the shelves, the evidence does point towards a door access system for badge-carrying Apple Park employees being the most likely destiny for the device.
The FFC manual also tempers the excited buzz surrounding two separate filings for certification that Apple has submitted this year. It’s likely that the two devices, with the suspiciously similar model numbers of ‘A1846’ and ‘A1845’, are simply components or iterations of the door access system.
Related: iPhone 8
Will Apple make any surprise product announcements this year? Share your predictions in the comments.