Google is attempting to put itself at the centre of domestic wireless networks with a new “smart router” that promises to improve WiFi quality and security.
OnHub’s launch comes weeks before Apple is expected to unveil its latest home technology device, with an update to its Apple TV set-top box that will act as a wireless “smart home” hub. The launch also puts Google into competition with many cable companies which offer their own home hubs for watching TV and getting online.
The inclusion of Bluetooth and other methods of wireless connectivity means Google’s $200 OnHub will be able to control the “internet of things” inside the home as more consumers buy connected peripherals such as wireless speakers, thermostats and security cameras.
The project has been developed over the past two years by teams who worked on the Chrome operating system and Google Access, the unit responsible for its superfast fibreoptic-based network.
这个项目是由负责Chrome操作系统的多个团队和Google Access历时两年联合完成研发的。Google Access是谷歌旗下负责其超快速光纤网络的部门。
Google has taken an Apple-like approach to designing OnHub, concealing the antennas that usually protrude from a router inside a cylinder that can be customised with a range of colours and patterns. Google has made other internal improvements to regular routers that it says will make OnHub easier to manage and allow WiFi networks to run faster and over a wider area.
While OnHub will remain part of Google after the internet company becomes a subsidiary of new parent Alphabet, under a corporate shake-up announced by chief executive Larry Pagelast week, no information about browsing or viewing behaviour will be used to tailor online advertising, the company says.
The OnHub device may in time work with peripherals from Nest, the smart-home unit that will become a separate Alphabet subsidiary to Google.
Google will begin taking pre-orders for the OnHub in the US and Canada this week, with devices shipping in the coming weeks.