With everything going into the touchscreen era, it’s surprising that routers have yet to embrace such interface. Or maybe it’s not surprising after all, given that most people configure their routers about once in their life then leave it be until the thing decides to break.
Securifi showed a prototype of the Almond at CEA Line Show in New York City this week to model what the new standard of routers should be. Using a Linux program that looks quite similar to Windows Phone UI, the touchscreen router aims to make setting up the device more intuitive. Without having to navigate through your PC to manage the wireless settings or use any additional software, the Almond simply allows you name your network and add an optional password directly on the screen. You can also password lock the screen to prevent others from changing your network settings.
At a range of approximately 100 meters, the Almond has a 2.8-inch, 320 x 240 resolution touchscreen that responds to mostly taps (as opposed to swipes). It offers the Wi-Fi speed of up to 300Mbps and can connect up to 50 users at a time. Though the device allows wireless connection, you can also go old school with ethernet cords if you so desire. It does not, however, have a USB slot for charging your mobile gadgets though that would be a great alternative use for the Almond.
Taking it a step further, Securifi also wants to make the router a more prominent device that you can display rather than tuck behind your computer after the setup. At the Line Show, the Almond is able to double as a digital photo album. Additionally, if you already have a router you need not replace, the Almond can act as a range extender to cover a wider area of network. Securifi CEO Rammohan Malasani told Digital Trends that the company is working to add more widgets to the Almond so you will want to use the screen for more than just a pretty display, such as adding a stream of RSS feeds for news or weather updates. Such innovations would be a great way to revamp the traditional router, and make it more useful with multiple features and functionalities.
The Almond router isn’t the prettiest interface to ever hit the technology world, but it is the first to introduce touchscreen luxury to an otherwise boring piece of gear. No words on when the Almond will be available in stores, but expect the device to cost you about $80 apiece (official retail price will be finalized in the upcoming weeks).