Soap router features a touchscreen for easy configuration
By Dave LeClair
February 28, 2014
Generally, when a new router comes along, the main featured touted by the creators is how fast it is. Soap is a little different, instead focusing on its touchscreen interface for ease of use and configuration.
The Soap smart router features many of the same configuration options you would find in a standard router, but the major difference is the way in which they're presented. Instead of typing in the local IP address and configuring the options with menus that may be a little too complicated for some users, everything is done on the 7-inch capacitative touchscreen. The router is running Android OS, which should make it easy enough to navigate.
Many of the features offered by this router fall under the security category. For example, users can manage devices connected to the network, and it's even possible to hide the network from showing up in a list of networks, making it more difficult for hackers to find it. It also comes with parental controls, and even a spy feature that allows the device to stream the screen of a device connected on a network to the touchscreen. It even has an integrated ad-blocker.
In addition to the touchscreen interface, the team is also building applications that will allow users to edit and control the router's functions through an Android or iOS device. The touchscreen of the router allows the interface to remain the same when viewed through a smartphone, which means it should be an easy transition between the two.
As for the actual internals of the router, it comes with a Freescale i.MX6 Quad Cortex A9 Quad-core processor, Bluetooth 4.0, RFID, and two USB 3.0 ports. As is the standard for most routers, it comes with four Gigabit LAN ports for connecting devices through ethernet. It's also a dual-band router, supporting both 2 and 5 GHz.
The Soap Router is being offered in two flavors. The first, called Soap Essentials, doesn't have the touchscreen on the router. Instead, it can only be controlled through another display using an HDMI port, or through the app. The Soap Touch, which costs a little more, is the one that actually features the touch display.
Soap, which is also the name of the company behind the router, is seeking funding on Kickstarter. It still has a lot of time left in its funding period, and it is very close to meeting its US$80,000 goal. The standard pledge for a Soap Essentials is $100, and the Soap Touch is $200, but there are still early bird specials remaining for both, so it's possible to preorder them for less. The team plans to deliver the routers to backers in September of this year, if the funding goal is met.
The Kickstarter pitch video below provides some more information on the Soap router.