Since everyone needs a Wi-Fi router at home, why not putting voice assistant in this device? This year at IFA, Amazon Alexa has been integrated into more networking devices – Netgear’s Orbi mesh router and Huawei’s 4G router.
Netgear introduced a new device to its mesh networking Orbi lineup – the Orbi Voice, a mesh router that doubles as a speaker with built-in microphone and Alexa.
As people want to cover Wi-Fi dead zones at home, they may place routers in more rooms. Smart router is an interesting product as it is integrated with voice assistant. There are no products similar to Orbi Voice yet, except for Samsung’s Wi-Fi router that has a smart home hub inside.
The Orbi Voice looks like a smart speaker with several buttons on the top for Alexa control. Netgear partners with Harman Kardon to make the speaker, which is expected to have very nice sound quality.
In regards to the router’s specifications, the device offers a tri-band model and two Ethernet ports, delivering 2.2 Gbps Wi-Fi speed and covering up to 4,500 square feet.
The Orbi Voice requires the Orbi Mesh WiFi System to work. It will start shipping in September for US$300.
Huawei Offers 4G Router Working with Alexa
Chinese company Huawei presented its first Alexa-powered smart speaker at IFA 2018. Named the AI Cube, the device is not just a wireless smart speaker, but also a 4G modem and Wi-Fi router.
Homeowners can insert a LTE SIM card to turn the device into a 4G hotspot, or they can connect it to the Ethernet to make it a home Wi-Fi router. It supports cellular speeds up to 300Mbps as well as 802.11ac with dual-band Wi-Fi.
The device features four microphones with far-field voice recognition, allowing homeowners to ask Alexa for information and weather forecast, or to play music and to control smart home devices.
Huawei did not disclose much about AI Cube The price will be announced later and it will start shipping in Europe during the 2018 holiday season.