03
Mar
Soap-Thumb

Routers are complex and intimidating, but this Kickstarter project hopes to address both of these issues. The Soap smart router is an Android-based router with a touch display. Through a simple interface, owners can implement parental controls, set time limits, see what activity is taking place on a network, block ads, create black/lists, monitor network analytics, and look out for potential threads. The idea is that this will be a router that you don't need to be a techie to know how to use, and its promise has attracted enough funds to surpasses its $80k funding goal with 19 days to go.

Soap1

This isn't the first time a Kickstarter project has pitched the idea of placing Android on a router. Droidifi exceeded its funding goals last year with the promise of a downloadable Android firmware. At this point in time though, nothing substantial seems to have come of the effort.

Still, Soap is different. The Droidifi project promised software, something you could install onto your router and experience in a web browser via computer, and you can tell from its underwhelming trailer that the experience wasn't going to be anymore compelling than it sounds. Soap, though, is promising a physical product, and the video ad does more to instill confidence that this thing will one day see the light of day.

Since the router's running Android, you can pair it with other devices and interact with it from home or elsewhere, and the same user experience transfers over regardless of which device you're using. If developers get behind Soap, you can see potential future apps that notify you when your kids leave the house, control WiFi connected lights, or chime in if your pets are getting into trouble while you're away. Naturally, much of this functionality depends on what other smart devices you have on your network, but the potential is there.

Soap3 Soap4

General Specs

  • 7” Captive touch display (1280x800)
  • Freescale i.MX6 Quad Cortex A9 Quad-core processor
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 32GB on board storage can be upgraded to anything that connects through SATA2
  • 4GB (able upgrade to 8GB)
  • SD Card Expansion
  • *Built in Battery (if stretch goal of 200k is reached)

Router Specs

  • 802.11ac: Latest WiFi standard that provides Gigabit Wireless speeds, and is around 4x faster than the current 802.11n. It is also 100% backward compatible with older 11a/b/g/n devices. So everything will work with Soap!
  • 5 GHz Speeds up to 1300 Mbps
  • 2.4 GHz Speed up to 450 Mbps
  • Configure as an access point
  • Simultaneous Dual Band
  • Configure as a wireless bridge 
  • Priority Control Qos
  • Web Filtering and Parental Controls
  • Zigbee (2.4GHz)
  • Z-Wave US, Canada, Mexico (908.42 MHz)
  • Z-Wave Europe (868.42 MHz)
  • Z-Wave Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong (919.82/921.42MHz)
  • Insteon
  • NFC
  • Gigabit LAN x4
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • VLANS, Port Forward, Port Filtering, Firewall, DMZ, QOS
  • VPN, Samba Server (USB Storage/Printers)
  • DLNA Streaming, UPnP
  • *Soap with no rope.802.11AC Wi-Fi WAN Connector (if stretch goal of 500k is reached)
  • Wireless Security – WPA2, WPA-PSK (AES, TKIP), 128/64-bit WEP. AOSS and WPS push button setup options automatically configure secure wireless connection.

To claim a Soap router, you need to make at least a $150 pledge. After that, you can look for them to go out sometime in September. And if you're skeptical about an Android-powered router, I wouldn't blame you. Hit up the Kickstarter page below for all the nitty-gritty details.

Soap: First Smart Router w/Touch Display Powered by Android

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • angrysock

    Even at it's $100 regular price, this is a great deal for an AC router even if you don't get around to using all the other features.

  • didibus

    This is a pretty cool idea, but execution is key. Router needs to be fast and full feature, while also being bug free. If they manage to make the basic routing functionality good and feature full, then having an active touch display for logging and settings change is an awesome idea.

  • Paul_Werner

    ...

    • Justin W

      I'm not sure why, but this (... all the things) is one of my favorite memes.

      • Gabernasher

        Clearly it's because Android, and ALL THE THINGS!!!

  • mustbepbs

    It's a little worrying that they aren't mentioning the gain on the internal antennas.

  • Stanley Chan

    Very interesting, will be like a server.

    It sounds good. There will be houndreds of rom types. Wow.

  • Anfronie

    I just hope it has good AC range...color me interested though :)

  • Nick Cannon

    Great idea and price. Need simple stats, app, etc and this looks like it'll work.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    Wonder how fast sharing off of a SATA device will be? This has some serious possibilities.

  • Kevin Sword

    Totally misread the title as soap-powered Android router.

    • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com/ Silver Fang

      Glad I'm not the only one. For a moment, I thought we had arrived.

    • mackenzie wunderlich

      My Uncle Aaron just got an awesome 12 month
      old Audi A5 Convertible only from working part time off a home computer... find
      out here J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Jephri

    Looks clean... Get it? Clean? Cuz, you know it's soap? Yeah? (crickets chirping) oh forget it.

  • joeljfischer

    As cool as this looks, I don't think I'm willing to be one of the first users. I need my router to be fast and reliable, and I don't think I'm willing to take the chance on a new player. I will watch how this turns out though.

  • Jephri

    Click link to dispense chuckles

    • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com/ Silver Fang

      Don't drop the soap!!!!!!

  • deltatux

    This router just screams overkill. There's no reason why a router needs a) 4 GB of RAM, b) a quad core (Cortex A9 at that), c) a battery, d) 32GB of onboard storage. This is the specs of a tablet, not a router. You could probably build a real proper router with Android with less specs than these and would still do fine as a router.

    • ERIFNOMI

      4GB of RAM for a router might be a bit overkill, but a good amount of it can help. Then you have to factor in that this is running Android, so maybe you'll give it some tasks to do on it's own. CPU, might be a bit overkill, unless you're giving it tasks to do on it's own (again). I guess the battery would keep your network alive during a little power flicker, so I guess I can see a case being made for it. Onboard storage is, once again, probably for apps for doing offloading some tasks from your computer (I'm guessing torrenting).

      It's not going to replace my Dark Knight, but I can understand the appeal.

    • Roger Siegenthaler

      The biggest overkill is running a full android stack for something like this... Performance programming is just getting killed by all these projects.

  • godutch

    What is the point of this device, a router just needs a good webinterface or android settings app, that's why more convenient than a touch display on the router itself because my routers are usually in inconvenient places...

  • skatsbrayt

    To me, it seems to be that the device is more like "a tablet with router features" rather than "a router with a tablet display" (became more convinced after seeing the Google Play icon).

    Anyway, I'll stick to my current Tomato'd router for now. But I'm excited to see endurance and comparison tests against Tomato/DDWRT routers when this comes out.

    • Dominique

      It's not only a rooter. It's an home gateway allowing for instance home automation, parental control... I really like the idea ! I think they should change the name to not confuse people. I think they should also give possiblity to add 3G/LTE module

  • mcored

    Give it a few months and the well-known router manufacturers will build something like this with top build quality like the Dark Knight.