Many of us will be familiar with the feeling of setting up a new Wi-Fi router only to find that it doesn't reach the far corners of our house. While businesses solve this with multiple Wi-Fi access points, the concept is pretty new when it comes to the home.
One of the newest startups to try and bring the idea of multiple Wi-Fi points to the house is called Luma, which is a new system designed to help users fill their home with a strong Wi-Fi signal, at the same time offering the user more control of their network and what happens to it.
Setting up a network is actually pretty easy. While you can buy one single router from Luma, the idea is that you'll buy multiple, with the devices coming in packs of three. These can be placed throughout the home. Once the devices are set up, they connect to each other and can form one single, strong network. You can even use the routers to move from between 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.
Unlike other routers, however, users can control their network through a companion app, which will enable users to see which devices have connected to their network and even what those devices are doing. This means everything from the servers that Internet-of-Things devices are sending data to, to even seeing exactly which websites people are visiting through their computer. For those who really want to stalk, the device doesn't show specific content, so while it might show that someone is visiting Facebook; it won't show things like messages.
Parents with young children can also use Luma as a way to ensure their children don't accidentally visit inappropriate content, with users able to lock certain users into only being able to view content that is G, PG, PG-13 or R rated content. Users can send requests to bypass the filter on a website-by-website basis.
One of the problems with this comes when users don't want to track others' content, with activity tracking being front and center for Luma. History is recorded for a year, and while the user can tell Luma to hide some activity, there's no way to really lock that setting in.
Luma itself is launching next year, and shipments will go out sometime during spring. Currently, users can buy Luma's devices at half price, with a single router being $99, and a pack of three costing $249. Eventually those prices will double.