Small pods that brings reliable WiFi to every room

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#5 Product of the WeekJune 17, 2016



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Jack Smith@_jacksmith · Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Adviser
This seems interesting and with interesting tech. Great design. It's a shame about the minimum order # of 6 units though, as a small studio or 1 bed likely wouldn't need that amount. I tried out Eero but ultimately couldn't justify the price. My current setup is a mesh networked setup using OpenMesh base units. I networked my entire ~2000 sqr foot apartment using 3 base units for ~$100 (half the cost of 1x AP from Eero). Open Mesh does have a steeper technical curve (Eero was quite plug and play) and Eero did make my network a lot faster, but I just couldn't justify paying $499 for 3 APs.
Eric Metelka@eric3000 · Product Manager, PowerReviews
@_jacksmith A small studio or 1 bed likely isn't their target customer
Andreas Mitschke@andmitsch · I own a computer
@eric3000 @_jacksmith Agree, this is more the target for those who want to substitute multiple repeaters.
@_jacksmith Might want to check out unifi sometime as well.
Jack Smith@_jacksmith · Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Adviser
@etc I've had Unifi at a previous office. I think there's a bit more of a learning curve in terms of setup. Also for a housing environment, the open mesh devices that I have are about 1/4 or 1/3rd the size of the Unifi devices. So much more discreet. They're also cheaper.
@_jacksmith Are you sure that's still the case? From what I see, the Unifi APs (AC Pro) are half the price of their Open Mesh equivalents. ($120 vs $225) The Open Mesh software is definitely more capable through the interface, but Unifi does have some interesting features, including zero handoff and effective band steering. Not advocating either solution - but I've been pretty happy with the solution after testing out a few alternatives. Thanks for the feedback!
Fahri DinerMakerHiring@fdiner · CEO, Plume
Excited to share news from Plume today! I’m the founder and CEO and we’ve been working to bring the concept of Adaptive WiFi to market. Plume rethinks home Wi-Fi by removing the need for a traditional router, offering a completely new system for people wanting fast and consistent connectivity in every corner of their homes. Plume works through a set of beautiful Pods designed to plug directly into wall sockets around the home – one Pod per room is recommended. Directed by the Plume Cloud, the Pods offer coverage, speed and reliability far beyond any other solution. Plume is smarter, faster, smaller and simpler to set up. Plume Pods are $39 each during pre-sale and come in three colors: Champagne, Silver or Onyx. Those that purchase during the pre-sale period will be first to receive their Pods on launch in the fall, when the price will rise to $49.
Jack Smith@_jacksmith · Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Adviser
@fdiner what's the range of one of the 'pods' ?
Özgür Celebi@tristancelebi · iOS Developer
@fdiner How does plume connect to the Internet, with my Provider? Because your marketing feels like I can remove my Router for good.
Furqan Rydhan@furqanr · The Monkey Inferno
@tristancelebi @fdiner It looks like you connect 1 pod to your ISP modem
yadav prasanth@riser_spy · UI designer and Human
@fdiner it has been my dream to bring wifi to every corner of my house. Thanks! for making it possible
Amit@amits510 · Tech Fanatic
@fdiner can we pre-order it on amazon?
Joe Blau@joe_blau · iOS Engineer @ Uber, ATC
My one and only question: Can my WiFi Network name be an emoji?
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
Mike Smouha@mike_smouha · Product @Plume
@joe_blau Like you my friend, we don’t want to live in a world without emojis as WiFi network names 🙌
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
I'm digging the minimal design. How does this compare to eero, @fdiner?
Jack Smith@_jacksmith · Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Adviser
@rrhoover the main difference would seem to be the larger number of access points and the "Auto channel hop", which sounds quite innovative.
Avery Haskell@averyhaskell · Stanford Computer Science
@rrhoover Seconded
Dhruba Adhikari@acpmasquerade · Product Director, Picovico
@_jacksmith @rrhoover Also the price per unit seems to be much cheaper.
Jack Smith@_jacksmith · Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Adviser
@acpmasquerade but that becomes irrelevant if you need 6 Plume's to = 2x Eeros. But yeah, if you're getting 6x for ~$250, then that's likely potentially cheaper overall
Dhruba Adhikari@acpmasquerade · Product Director, Picovico
@_jacksmith Yup, either way its cheaper even when Eeros require you to buy 3 units, Plume wants 6. Apart from that Plume claims to have worked on protocol layer as well.
Kumar Thangudu@datarade · Technologist
Why isn't wi-fi reliable? I'd like to understand why from an analog RF Design engineer's perspective as well as try to understand how Plume arbitrages a multi-billion dollar business with tons of electrical engineers who try to build high performance products. What is it that the key players are all missing out on that your startup understands? As in, what's the trade-off? I think deep problems and solutions require deep context.
Dieter Shirley@dete73 · Old Salt, Axiom Zen
@datarade From what I can tell, Plume is doing a couple of interesting things that most other folks aren't trying: - many more small antennas, more widely spaced; I think a lot of routers start from the assumption that you need to optimize the case for a single base-station. Plume starts from the assumption that you have one antenna per room. - compute in the cloud. The entire system's configuration is constantly being adapted via the cloud analysis. @fdiner talk above how the individual antennas change their channel, but the interesting part is that those channel choices are being driven holistically for the whole system, and not each antenna trying to optimize individually. At the end of the day, we'll have to see how it plays out in the real world, but the WiFi situation in a lot of places (including both my home and my office) is not "solved". Maybe Plume hasn't solved it either, but it's a novel new approach that looks more radical than all the other attempts I've seen (including Eero). I'd have an order in already if they shipped to Canada!
Fahri DinerMakerHiring@fdiner · CEO, Plume
@datarade wireless in general, and WiFi in particular (an unlicensed spectrum) is an indeterministic medium - the environment constantly changes due to varying loads, congestion, interference, fading, etc. Current offerings are largely "fixed" solutions trying to solve a "varying" problem. The result today, as the sum of the two, is a varying, inconsistent quality of experience. Plume is a dynamic, adaptive, self-optimizing approach that's intended to offer a constant, high quality of experience. We leverage the amazing work the industry is doing in the silicon and RF level - Plume's technical contributions to the industry are largely in software, algorithms, data intelligence, machine learning, and massively scalable cloud architectures to help improve [home] WiFi.