Plume Unveils Router-Killing ‘Pods’ for Home Wi-Fi Access

For years, the standard way to access Wi-Fi connectivity in your home has been to plant a wireless router in some central part of the house and hope its signal reaches into every corner. Palo Alto-based Plume, however, has come up with an alternative approach: relatively low-cost, router-free little "pods" -- access points, essentially -- that you can plug into power outlets around your home to ensure you can connect from any room.

Yesterday, Plume announced that it is ready to begin taking advance orders for its pods ahead of their expected arrival on the market this fall. Priced at $39 for now (the price will increase to $49 upon launch), the pods use what Plume calls "adaptive Wi-Fi" to deliver dynamically responsive and cloud-assisted access to Internet services.

Established in 2015, Plume is led by several networking industry veterans, including co-founder and CEO Fahri Diner, who previously founded and led Qtera and was also the director of product line management at Siemens.

Targeting the 'Last Few Meters' Problem

"Most of us today get pretty awesome broadband delivered to our homes," Diner wrote yesterday in a blog post on his company's Web site. "I've been frustrated though, after experiencing first-hand what it takes to bring speedy broadband to the home ?EU?--?EU? that something goes terribly wrong in the 'last few meters' over Wi-Fi." Diner said Plume was launched "to take the 'Why?!' out of Wi-Fi."

Instead of providing wireless connectivity with a router, Plume decided to take the approach of offering little Wi-Fi communicators that could be plugged into outlets anywhere in a home. The pod system is managed with the help of a mobile smartphone app, and uses cloud services, optimization algorithms and self-learning technology to monitor a home network and adapt as Wi-Fi conditions change.

'Obsessively Testing' Ahead of Launch

Diner said...

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