#IFA18 – Mesh routers are a great way to help ensure that your entire home is blanketed in WiFi. Netgear’s Orbi is one of the available mesh router systems available in the market today, and at IFA 2018 the company has since taken the wraps off the Netgear Orbi Voice. This is an interesting device as it combines a WiFi router with a speaker all into a single device.
It also seems to be a mashup of collaborations where the router itself is built by Netgear, while the speaker components will come from Harman Kardon, and there will also be a digital assistant baked into the entire setup courtesy of Amazon’s Alexa. It sounds like a complicated setup, but we can see its appeal.
Right now those who want a smart speaker will need to purchase it separately, which means more devices, more things to charge, more cables and wires, and so on. However with the Orbi Voice, it all fits into one neat package. This means that not only will users be able to blanket their home with WiFi coverage, but they’ll also be able to control their smart appliances (as long as they are supported by Alexa), and get a speaker at the same time.
Given that mesh routers are usually placed around the house, having multiple Orbi Voices means that users will also get access to Alexa in more places. In terms of pricing, the Orbi Mesh WiFi System that consists of the Orbi Tri-Band WiFi Router plus one Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and WiFi Satellite will cost $429.99. For those who already own the Orbi WiFi system, adding on the Orbi Voice will be sold separately for $299.99.