Google has recently announced a new smarthome focused OnHub WiFi router. It’s actually, and possibly the more surprising thing is that it is not built by nest. It’s actually made in partnership with TP-Link.
It does look a little like Amazon Echo, but despite having a speaker on the top it is not a Google Now box. The speaker infact uses Google Tone to set up the router. For those who missed it Google researches came up with the idea of using audio signals to share data. Using this technology it makes it simpler than it ever has been to set up a new router. It is controlled from the mobile app. Allowing you to monitor and diagnose problems with the router in a simple way. Despite not being made by Nest, the OnHub does take some inspiration from Nest Protect. For example, there’s a dimmable ring light on top of the router, that glows green when everything is fine and changes colour to communicate when there’s an issue.
Surprisingly though the OnHub only has one (gigabit) ethernet port. The focus is very much on WiFi and the connected home. For example it has built in bluetooth, supports weave and has 13 WiFi antennas. It has 6 5Ghz antennas positioned in a circular array, and six 2.4Ghz antennas again positioned in a circular array. It also has a forward facing 2.4Ghz antenna that acts like a satellite dish (according to Google) to boost WiFi in that direction.
Other specs include a dual core Qualcomm processor, clocked at 1.4Ghz, with 4GB of storage and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. It also support Bluetooth and ZigBee. It’s clearly designed to be the smarthome hub. With WiFi speeds up to 1900 Mbps, and a relatively hefty processor it’s obviously designed specifically for the internet of things. Infact the new OnHub can support up to 128 devices. I assume this is WiFi devices, and excludes devices connected over ethernet.
The OnHub costs $199 (USD) and is currently only available to preorder in the US.