Google has launched its second OnHub router, with partner Asus, but is still concentrating its efforts on North America before rolling out its first home networking entry internationally.
For an advertising company, the decision to launch a Wi-Fi router may seem odd - but there is method in Google's madness. The original OnHub launched back in August in partnership with networking giant TP-Link, and while it offered all the usual functions of a home router - such as the important job of routing traffic from an internal network to a wide area network and offering high-speed Wi-Fi for mobile devices - the OnHub is a Trojan horse for Google's Internet of Things (IoT) campaign.
Built into the OnHub is support for three IoT personal area network (PAN) standards: Bluetooth Smart, IEEE 802.15.4, and Google's own Weave. The OnHub, then, is designed to act as a central hub for all manner of IoT goodies from smart thermostats to health-monitoring devices. Now, the TP-Link OnHub is joined by a new model built by Asus and boasting what the company calls Wave Control
Designed for homes with lots of mobile devices, the Asus OnHub's Wave Control system combines a Wi-Fi proximity sensor which detects nearby devices with a gesture control system. If you're finding a download is crawling along, just move yourself closer to the router and wave your hand over the top to boost the share of Wi-Fi bandwidth given over to your device - then, presumably, guard the OnHub from others in your household coming and doing the same for their gadgets.
With increasing interest in IoT, there's certainly room for OnHub-like products, but sadly it's going to be a while before those outside North America can play: the TP-Link OnHub is available in the US and Canada, while the Asus OnHub launches as a US-only exclusive, with neither company being forthcoming regarding international availability. More information is available on the official website