PowerCloud Systems is looking to disrupt the home networking market with the launch of Skydog, a new Kickstarter-funded solution that offers a level of visibility and management not seen on competing networking products. The Kickstarter page is now live, and the company is aiming to make the first products available to backers in May 2013.
"Skydog redefines how consumers view and make use of their home networks," said Jeff Abramowitz, founder and CEO of PowerCloud Systems. "Our beta users have found that Skydog’s real-time visibility, management capabilities, and unparalleled ease-of-use enables them to save time, avoid frustration, and improve the performance of their connected home."
Consisting of a dual-band Wireless N router and an HTML5-based application that can be accessed from anywhere on any device, Skydog "revolutionizes" home networking in three key areas: real-time visibility, home network management, and easy set-up and ease-of-use. The most interesting aspect to this solution resides within the real-time visibility portion, as the system will show who is actually online, which devices are being used, what websites are being accessed and how much bandwidth is being used.
Furthermore, Skydog allows the user to set time limits for specific websites that are accessed by a specific user. This time limit covers all devices, not just a single MAC address, and is based on a calendaring system such as school days versus weekends. When time limits on the specified websites have been reached, the administrator and/or the individual user will be notified.
Skydog also sends text alerts to the administrator when specified issues arise, such as an Internet outage or a new guest seeking to access the network. Skydog can even speed the diagnoses of problems and their resolutions, such as checking Wi-Fi signals of devices or by remotely re-cycling the router. Because Skydog can be installed in remote locations, this type of management makes it easy to keep the network up and running without needing any hands-on maintenance.
PowerCloud's new networking solution also allows users to assign priority bandwidth access to certain users such as a work-at-home parent, or specific apps like Netflix and Hulu. This is ideal if too many users and devices are competing for bandwidth, or if a child is doing his or her homework online and can't risk network lag.
According to PowerCloud, the Wireless N router itself is dual band, offering up to 300 Mbps on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels. Other features include "robust" WPA2-PSK security, Gigabit Ethernet wired ports, and a compact design of 17 x 11 x 2.5 centimeters. The HTML5 app requires a compatible browser like Chrome and Safari on mobile and the typical set of updated browsers for the desktop.
"Installation is easy using the Skydog mobile companion," the company said. "Skydog also works alongside existing routers, such as those providing back --up or integrated with broadband gateways, to provide the additional functionality only available with Skydog."
The Kickstarter project currently has 398 backers funding $35,803 USD. PowerCloud is looking to generate $75,000 within the next 34 days, and may surpass that goal given the project didn't hit Kickstarter until April 9, 2013. The company is definitely looking to shake up the home networking arena, and Skydog may just do that with its intelligent features and its intelligent approach to remote network management.
For more about the new Skydog project, head here.