Google’s Pixel Tablet could soon let you cast to it simply by standing in front of it with your phone, which sounds like science fiction. If this comes to pass, it will be a departure from the conventional method where both the phone and tablet need to be on the same Wi-Fi network, and you need to manually select the casting device via an icon.
This potential future upgrade, first spotted by @AssembleDebug on Twitter, or “X”, appears to make use of the Pixel Tablet’s Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip. The UWB technology can precisely detect devices in a three-dimensional space, and could detect when your phone is within proximity of its screen. This feature is being called “Media Tap to Transfer“, which sounds fitting and simple. You can see it being shown off below in Android’s settings menu.
A new way to cast to tabletsThe feature may be exclusive to Pixel Tablets, at least when it first launches
You can now cast media to any Pixel Tablet on the Wi-Fi network just by holding your phone in front of it.
Of course, you’ll likely still need to tell it you’d like to cast, perhaps at least the first time (it is called media ‘tap’ to transfer, after all). I imagine you’ll have to set or forget a preference, because walking in front of the tablet display to go grab a bite to eat from the kitchen and having Linkin Park remind you how numb you are at a higher decibel would probably get pretty old in the end.
So far, there’s been no official announcement of this, but it will likely be revealed in the near future, especially if it’s already baked into Android 14’s menu in early builds discovered. I’m noticing that Google is relying more heavily on proximity-based interactions these days, and I kind of like that. I will say though that it will need to put some protections in place, especially when it comes to shared spaces inside or outside of your home!