Google’s new OnHub WiFi router from ASUS features gesture control
The Google of today isn’t afraid to try something new, and on the hardware front that’s meant now-familiar things like Nexus phones and tablets, the Chromebook family, and the oh-so-affordable Chromecast. It’s also generated some more out-there projects, like Google Glass or the modular Ara. And between those extremes we have efforts like the OnHub router the company launched back in August. We weren’t completely sold on the idea of OnHub straight away, though saw that there was plenty of room for potential. Well, Google’s wasting no time in bringing new features to OnHub as the second OnHub router debuts today, this time manufactured by frequent collaborator ASUS.
This new OnHub is largely the same thing as the first model, built by TP-Link, but with a few key differences. One concerns antenna placement; the existing router was far more directional in the signal it generated (though it will get smarter about beam-forming thanks to a forthcoming software update), while the ASUS model is omnidirectional.
But even without an antenna that’s optimized for one particular direction, the ASUS OnHub still has a trick or two of its own. The router supports a gesture interface Google’s calling Wave Control that’s supposed to let users enhance bandwidth for one particular device (like when you’re streaming HD video) by waving their hand above the unit.
The new ASUS OnHub is slightly more expensive than its predecessor, set to sell for about $220. Pre-orders are open now with select retailers, and Google itself has a waitlist going.