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Skydog Kickstarter Passes Goal, Edges Closer to Retail

Weeks ago, we reported on Skydog, a Kickstarter project aimed to disrupt the home networking market by offering a level of visibility and management not seen on competing networking products. The company behind Skydog, PowerCloud Systems, has reached its goal of $75,000 USD, meaning that actual hardware is on track to arrive in the hands of financial backers in May 2013.

As of this article, the Skydog Kickstarter project has pulled in 783 backers pledging $81,723 USD, and there's still 14 days to go in the campaign. "Your enthusiastic support has taken us past our funding goal and we are thrilled to be able to bring Skydog to your homes!" the company said on Friday. "Please stay tuned. We’ve had numerous requests for stretch goals and, now that we know Skydog is funded, we're making plans."

As previously reported, the system comprises of a Wireless N dual-band router and an HTML5-based application that can be accessed from anywhere on any device. It promises a high level of visibility and control of the user's home network, showing who is actually online, which devices are being used, what websites are being accessed and how much bandwidth is being used.

For example, Skydog allows the user to establish a specific "Zone", or rather a set of Wi-Fi and wired connections, via the Bandwidth Manager. Some Zones can have a higher priority and more bandwidth over the other Zones at a specific time. That means the user can switch the home network QoS priority so that the WatchMovie mode is selected to give streaming video higher traffic in the Family or Entertainment Zone over a large file download that is happening on the Work Zone.

"Alternatively, you can reserve a Zone for any device that requires highest priority over others," the company said. "Depending on time of day and what users care to do, an application running on one device, like a Skype call for work on Dad's PC or the video stream from the Smart TV, may require the higher priority. Any one of these devices can connect to this Highest Priority Zone to get the best performance at that time."

Although Skydog can distinguish users based on the registered device, what it currently can't do is distinguish between different users on a single device. This will actually be addressed by enabling content filtering levels at the Zone.

"So, when a child uses a computer and can access the Child Zone, he/she will have content, security and performance policies that are different from when a parent uses the same computer to connect to the Parent Zone," the company said. "The key here will be that the passphrase for the wireless network (SSID) is not entered and saved in that computer, and a parent will need to keep that passphrase for the Parent Zone a secret."

As stated weeks ago, PowerCloud Systems is looking to shake up the home networking arena, and Skydog will likely do just that with its intelligent features and its intelligent approach to remote network management. It will be interesting to see what the final product will offer next month.