New XM Snap device hits the FCC (and it smells like Android?) - Orbitcast

New XM Snap device hits the FCC (and it smells like Android?)

| 6 Comments
XM Snap
Well well well, what do we have here? It looks like a new device from Sirius XM Radio Inc. has been circulated with our friends at the FCC. It's called the XM Snap (XSN1), and if I was to venture a guess, it has the distinct odor of Android surrounding it.
The XM Snap was just granted FCC Approval yesterday, which is good because we get our first glimpse of it today. Sadly, Sirius XM has been wise to our FCC shenanigans for some time now and has decided to shroud the device in short-term secrecy - meaning that the FCC will hide juicy info like the product shots and the product manual for now.

All that info will released by the FCC on 10/18, which further hints that the new XM Snap device will likely be available just in time for the holiday shopping season (we saw similar timing of FCC approvals with last year's new devices).

The only image of the XM Snap that we have is the diagram pictured above, but at first look the XM Snap looks mighty similar the back of the XM SkyDock. The diagram shows what appears to be a "stem" much like the SkyDock - the only thing that's puzzling is the top of the device - these may be buttons or output plugs, it's hard to say.

The only product description we have is this:

The XM Snap, Model No.:XSN1, is a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) receiver for Sirius XM Radio. The unit is a vehicle accessory with a transmitter operating in the 88 - 108 MHz FM band. The XM Snap supplies the incoming satellite digital audio signal to the vehicle's radio via wired connection (Audio cable, FM Direct, or Cassette Adapter) or wireless FM transmission (Power Connect or FEA).

Thanks, that's hardly helpful.

Still, we have one more clue, and it comes from email exchanges between the FCC and Sirius XM. Here's where the device is described in more detail:

"...the device is understood to be a composite device comprised of a transmitter and digital device in which the 3.8 GHz VCO controls the transmitter and is also used with the digital device that has other functions other than controlling the transmitter."

So the XM Snap will be paired with another "digital device" that controls the XM Snap, but also has "other functions." 

Sounds like a mobile phone to me. And hopefully that means a dock for Android users. (Now if Sirius XM could only get their App to work with Android OS 2.2 aka "Froyo", we'd have a winner.)

What do you think? Is this a new dock for mobile phones? Or perhaps something else?

6 Comments

This device is another sky dock type of deal!!! Android perhaps or maybe even universal with blackberry too!!!

Seems like Skydocks for other smartphones besides the iPhone make a ton of sense.

Excellent scoop Ryan!

Looks like the shape of the XM MiniTuner.

Ryan,

The first thing I thought of was a skydock like deice that was generic enough to accomodate a variety of smart phone apps.

However....I looked at the reports. Testing of the unit was done with an external antenna. that would make it a plug and play dock of some kind. Not ruling out an all inclusive unit, but the antenna is a killer. The skydock doesnt use an antenna.

How about this? - a "universal XM radio tuner module" for all OEM vehicles. Today each OEM manufacturer has to integrate a satellite radio chip into their specific car radio design. This means that every factory car radio needs to be redesigned every time there is a major update to the satellite radio chip. Also, there is no way for the end user to upgrade the Satellite Radio capabilities in their car (other than completely abandoning the factory radio). However, if Sirius designed a standard interface for stock radios to communicate with an external Satellite Radio tuner, the Satellite Radio tuner could be upgraded at any time without forcing a change to the factory radio. Once all the OEMs convert over to this standard interface, Sirius, the OEM, or the customer could easily upgrade their car XM radio tuner module without having to replace their stock radio. This would have a side benefit of greatly reducing the component costs for both Sirius and the OEMs because everyone would use the same device. Everybody would benefit from this device. Just a thought...

The skydock uses an external antenna.