After launching on Kickstarter this week and raising over 60 percent of the funding goal over the past two days, Securifi’s Almond+ touchscreen router and smart hub is drawing significant attention from fans of the original Almond touchscreen router and range extender. The first generation Almond continues to receive a plethora of stellar reviews, specifically due to the simplicity of setting up the device as a wireless N router in addition to the device’s ability to significantly extend the range of a home’s existing wireless network.
Building on the success of the first generation model, the Almond+ adds support for the new 802.11ac 1.17Gb/s standard. As new mobile hardware from Apple, Samsung and other manufacturers launch with 802.11ac device support, Almond+ users will be able to take advantage of faster wireless speeds for consuming bandwidth-heavy content like high definition video streaming over serviced like Netflix or Vudu. Of course, the Almond+ also supports the wireless N standard and comes with the typical four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired connections.
In addition to 802.11ac support, the Almond+ includes the ability to interact with home automation technology developed by Zigbee and Z-Wave. The Almond+ acts as a delivery system for notifications in addition to providing controls for specific functions within a smart home. For instance, if a front or rear door of a home is equipped with a door sensor, the Almond+ can trigger a notification that’s sent to your smartphone letting you know that the door has been opened or closed. Other features demonstrated at CES 2013 recently include the ability to dim room lighting and control a home’s temperature by using the Almond+ 2.8-inch TFT touchscreen. Basically, this eliminates the cost of a $120 smart hub from Zigbee or Z-Wave as well as the cost of a touchscreen tablet.
Regarding design, the Almond+ definitely has more of a minimal look when compared to the original Almond router. The Almond+ device can be wall mounted or propped up on a table with the included stand.
The Almond+ will be released in five different colors for Kickstarter backers including black, pearl white, sky blue, green and red. Internally, the Almond+ is powered by 620MHz Processor and 128MB of RAM. The team plans to support for iOS and Android mobile devices at launch.
While all Kickstarter projects come with a modicum of risk for investors, the risk of investing in the Almond+ is significantly reduced since this is a second generation product. In other words, Securifi has already experienced all the manufacturing issues that other Kickstarter project managers have to deal with to get their first generation product in the hands of early backers. The creators of the Pebble smartwatch, for instance, had to postpone the original launch of that product due to many manufacturing problems.
According to the details on the Kickstarter page, Securifi will likely go through a couple more design revisions in the coming months. However, company management seems confident in both the manufacturer and the supply chain in regards to the product launch. The black version of the Almond+ is priced at $99 while the remaining four colors are priced at $129. Securifi expects to ship the final version to Kickstarter backers by September 2013.
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