Project Hermes – eSIM Support for Chrome OS

A new commit found in the Chromium Gerrit suggest that eSIM support for Chrome OS is in the pipeline.  The commit is codenamed Project Hermes and while very little detail is in the commit about what exactly this would look like, it explicitly calls out eSIM support for the platform, allowing for cellular network support natively in devices.

Hermes is the codename for the project of implementing eSIM support for Chrome OS. Hermes will be responsible for delivering messages between devices with eSIM chips and carrier servers through profile downloads as well as service discovery for new carriers.

This could allow for an “always on” Chromebook that, in theory, could put it head-to-head against Microsoft with their always on Windows 10 laptops.

As for what carriers would be supported, that remains a mystery.  A comment in the commit specifically called out Project Fi support but that comment has since been removed, perhaps being expose a bit to early – or being removed all together.

The other mystery is when this would happen.  The obvious marker in the road would be a new Pixelbook 2 which, if released, would be later this year when the new Pixel 3 phone lineup is announced.  But there are no firm suggestions that there will be a new Pixelbook this year, just rumors.   But timing wise, it makes sense.

No matter how you look at it, having eSIM support in a Chromebook would be massively handy for a lot of Chrome OS users, especially those who are on the road a lot as they wouldn’t have to worry about finding WiFi.

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