Alphabet releases another super simple OnHub router

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alphabet releases another super simple OnHub router.

What if you could improve your home’s Internet with a wave of your hand? Today, Google and ASUS announced that they’re working together on a version of OnHub which will run you $219.99, $20 more than Google’s original OnHub (TP-LINK).

The company originally teamed up with manufacturer TP-Link for its first-generation device, but today it’s expanding to add another partnership, this time with Asus. Google first launched its OnHub router series in August, attempting to make a router that’s easy to use and provides better Wi-Fi signal than what people are used to. Well, it does have a nifty new feature called “Wave Control,” which lets you speed up your Wi-Fi for a specific device by waving your hand over the top of it.

This new model is similar in many ways, featuring a similar — though arguably more sleek – design and simplified functionality, as well as a new gesture-based feature. The sleek cylindrical router was designed to be a complete departure from the normal router — which is one of those appliances that nearly everyone has and probably never thinks about. The goal is to let you adjust how much bandwidth is too much in certain rooms of your home — do you need to have faster Internet in your kitchen when you’re going to spend more of your time in the living room? The router will also be able to select the best antennas to send Wi-Fi over depending on the location of the devices it’s connected to; that feature will also be rolling out to the original OnHub, which is made by TP-Link. In addition to the new OnHub device, the company announced that it’ll be shipping the first software update for the devices which will help it intelligently decide which antennas to use to beam Internet your way…based on how you’re holding them, which room they’re in, etc.

Joining that new feature is an upcoming software update, the first for the OnHub router, that is said to bring with it “several performance improvements.” Among those improvements is a smart antenna algorithm, which enables OnHub to decide on the best arrangement of antennas for getting WiFi to various devices based on where they’re located. The new router, announced Tuesday, is built by Asus — one of the companies that also builds Google Chromebooks — and has the additional “Wave Control” feature.

That’s because obstructions — like walls — impact Wi-Fi signal, so if Google can convince people to put a router on a table in the middle of their house, it can probably provide a much stronger signal. To do that, Google is trying to design its routers to look like… well, it’s not entirely clear what they’re supposed to look like, but they at least don’t look like a typical router, which is something you really want to hide. Of course, there are still limitations to where you can put the router — it needs to be connected to an ugly cable box, after all — but Asus’ model at least looks like something you wouldn’t mind putting on a shelf, rather than beneath it.

Pre-orders for the Asus OnHub – which comes in stylish ‘Slate Grey’ are now live, with NewEgg listing the release date as the third of November. This is a big part of Google’s play to simplify setting up and using a router, and by all means, it should be much easier than dealing with the typical router options page. Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat specifically pointed to this group in the firm’s latest earnings call as one in which investors could expect to see a “growth agenda.”

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