Future routers: The key to the connected home

A manifesto to redefine the router

When was the last time you interacted with your router, beyond turning it off and on again after a frustrating connection issue? I’m willing to bet it was a long time ago, if ever. And given the general interface on these things, you’re probably lucky it was.

Nobody cares about routers. For decades they’ve been commodity hardware running commodity software, relegated to the corners of our homes and offices, unsophisticated tethers to the wider online world.

They’ve remained dumb devices at the center of increasingly smart homes.

But once you look a little closer you’ll see that this humble machine is now the main entry point to your home and a shared bridge for all your connected devices. Far from a  neglected tool, it could–and should–become the foundation that finally makes smart homes a reality.

If this potential and progress are so obvious, why hasn’t this shift happened yet?

The importance of design and incentives

The router market has stagnated. The incumbent ecosystem, including everyone from chipmakers to box-makers, is working hard to find a way to push design forward.. But it’s simply not easy for a company built for nano-scale manufacture and assembly to instantly take a design-first approach.

The world of design is changing so fast that even the leaders are struggling to anticipate and integrate trends like conversational interfaces and smart home protocols. Plus, they have the added consideration of just how important security must be on this single connected gateway. For hundreds of millions of families, the computers on their network contain as many of their intimate and confidential files as the cloud.

The router must therefore be porous to all the s of devices communicating with themselves and the outside world, while remaining solid as granite against threats that want to access those devices for nefarious reasons.

So here’s what we’re doing

Based on these principles, we’ve spent the last 18 months developing the first truly smart software to let routers live up to their potential.

It requires zero technical knowledge to use, via what we call a Conversational User Interface. This smart natural language processing (NLP) software is as simple as WhatsApp — you simply type your request and it takes care of the rest.

Want to stop your grade-schooler from watching Netflix after 9 PM? Want to shut down your internet connection at midnight? Just ask.

We’re already exploring partnerships with some of the biggest router manufacturers and brands, so we can bring our decades of experience in software and design expertise to the table. We want hardware manufacturers to focus on what they know best, while being able offer users an experience ten times better than  what they have today.

And underneath it all, AVG’s long, strong heritage in security gives users the peace of mind they expect and deserve, protecting your family through VPN, privacy controls and world-renowned antivirus services as standard.

If you’re working in the ecosystem and haven’t heard from us already, we’d love to talk. Visit www.chimewifi.com for contact details or leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

The Chime Smart Home Platform will revolutionize the role of the router

This isn’t an incremental improvement to an existing product, or a superficial ribbon to wrap around the box.

Chime marks the start of a significant shift in the way we will communicate with our connected home. It’s not just for geeks and specialists, but rather is designed to bring benefits to even the most casual user. in our next series of posts, we’ll show you more and talk through how this impacts every stage of the router ecosystem.

So whether you’re a user, router manufacturer, telco, chipmaker or retail brand, we want to hear from you. Sign up for our newsletter or visit www.chimewifi.com to learn more and get in touch with the team.

One Comment

Phil Harvey

Is Chime still coming to market? I visited the site and it seems to be down. Would love to speak with someone for a press interview.

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