Google launched a Google Home WiFi router this Tuesday, the company’s latest effort to get in on the internet provider business and get ahead of the curve in the increasingly profitable connected home.
The router, called OnHub, retails for $199.99 through online retailers such as Amazon, the Google Store, and Walmart.com. According to Google’s recent blog post, the built-in antennae in the device scan the airwaves for the fastest connection.
Google Home WiFi Features
One of the most exciting features of the device is that it allows a user to prioritize certain devices to get the fastest Internet for data-heavy activities, such as downloading software or streaming a movie. The OnHub is compatible with the Google On app, to keep track of bandwidth and run network checks.
Just like Google Chrome and the Android OS, the OnHub will automatically update as needed. Currently, the product is being manufactured by TP-Link, but Google hinted that ASUS might be a partner in the future.
Alphabet and the Internet of Things
The OnHub, like Google’s new holding company Alphabet Inc and last year’s purchase of the smart thermostat maker Nest, is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to create the “Internet of Things”, where objects in private homes are all connected to the internet. According to research firm International Data Corp, the market for smart homes will nearly triple to 1.7 million by the year 2020.
Google hasn’t been idle in improving general internet service either; through Google Fiber service to expand internet service into major cities and Project Loon, which plans to float balloons twenty kilometers above the Earth’s surface to provide internet service to rural areas.
Creating smart devices is the wave of the future, and many major companies such as Samsung, Verizon, Vodafone, and Cisco are betting heavily on this interconnected, smart home where many common devices are connected to the internet. Google is simply taking the first, major step towards making the smart home of the future accessible to the average person.