NETGEAR is creating technology for smart homes

Published on September 9, 2019

Plenty of people think of their WiFi routers when they think of NETGEAR. But this tech giant is looking to change the way we live. Its latest technology wants to bring our homes into the future with smart devices that interconnect to make life simpler.

I recently sat with Phil Pyo, the Vice President of Product Marketing at NETGEAR’s Smart House Tour in New York City to get introduced to the latest products. 

Change the way you view art.

The Smart House Tour began with the living area. The window had sleek picture frames on either side with a slideshow of pictures. Think of it as a mix between Netflix and iTunes but for art. 

The Meural and Meural II are digital frames that display art digitally. NETGEAR works with artists and art collectors to create a marketplace for its frames. Users can then buy a single piece of art or a collection of it to keep. And those with a membership pay 50% less than those without. Art can be added to customized playlists, be scheduled to display at certain times and users can even upload their own work. NETGEAR works with artists of all kinds those artists gets a cut of the sale each time one of their pieces is sold. 

The Meural has a matte finish which means that traditional art can be displayed in a way that doesn’t make it look digital by force. And digital art can feel at home right beside its predecessor. Pyo told me this is “true art technology which really helps the art look like art and not a TV screen.”

Plus, the frames are simple and fun to use. They have motion sensors so All you have to do is wave a hand in front of the frame to interact with it. Users can change the image, the playlist and more with a swipe. If that doesn’t work for you, there’s also an app and an online portal the frame can be controlled with. Plus, Meural is compatible with Alexa for even more convenience. 

The Meural II has a few major changes from the original. It comes in different sizes and finishes and uses 45% less energy. Learn more about both on NETGEAR’s website

Change your WiFi.

It seems like everyone today has a smartphone, a tablet, an Alexa device, something that needs constant internet access. Think about the lights, thermostats, robo vacuums, refrigerators and everything else that connects to the internet now. Smart homes need a strong WiFI connection that can keep up with all this demand and NETGEAR has a solution. 

The Orbi is NETGEAR’s “mesh WiFi system” that uses Wifi 6 technology to make sure your connection never fails. It even helps device batteries last longer. And it’s backward compatible so there’s no need to worry about older devices connecting. Orbi uses NETGEAR-patented technology that helps “maximize internet speeds for 4K streaming and connections to multiple devices.” Pyo made it clear that “pretty much anything that runs on electricity can be connected.”

But WiFi connections can only go so far. Ideally, the WiFi would be set in a central location so that you have a strong connection throughout your home. But if you have a lot of living space you may need a connection with a little more range. That’s where the extender comes in. NETGEAR’s Nighthawk AX8 Mesh Extender can connect to a router and be used with any kind of WiFi connection. That means the extender can be used in those areas where people can’t choose their internet providers.

Connect outdoors. 

So much of our lives happen outdoors. Kids play in yards and people entertain on their decks. Maybe you like to listen to music while you garden. Whatever it is, NETGEAR even has a device for that. The Orbi Outdoor Satellite is a WiFi device that uses that same mesh technology to keep you connected. It’s water-resistant and can even be wall-mounted. You just need a router to work alongside it. 

If there’s any downside to this it’s that all of this tech will not come cheap. Automating your home can be an expensive process and these are some of NETGEAR’s top products right now. All of this can easily set you back a few thousand dollars, not to mention the possible need for one or multiple devices like extenders in your home. 

Kori Williams is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in New York, she covers events, social-media news, apps, and New York brands. She loves grammar and aims to use her voice to help others.

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