A fresh Indigogo campaign has kicked off for Soap, a new Android 4.4 KitKat-powered wireless router with a built-in capacitive touchscreen. Through a paired mobile app, users can remotely manage devices connected on the same network, including game consoles, other tablets and smartphones. Namely, that means shutting off the Xbox when the kids need to start doing homework.

Custom-made apps will also enable home automation via Zigbee, Z-Wave, Insteon, and other popular wireless standards. Additional Soap units beyond the first can also network together to form a singular mesh network, which is pretty neat. Four models will be available, each with progressively faster processors, capping out at a quad-core 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor.

Soap has just about every hardware input you could want, including two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, SD and microSD, and five gigabit ethernet ports. Wi-Fi looks like it will be handled amply with dual-band AC and multiple antennae on the top-tier model.

It's easy to start piling up custom hubs next to your Wi-Fi router for things like Philips Hue, soa hub that earnestly tries to consolidate that clutter is a solid idea. Most Wi-Fi manufacturers have made their Wi-Fi routers much more smartphone-friendly, especially when it comes to parental controls, but if Soap delivers on the promises they're making here, it could set a new bar for usability in these kinds of devices.

The entry-level Soap Solo is available at an early bird price of $129, though those are likely to go fast. The higher-end Soap Quad has an early bird special of $229. Hit up Indigogo to become a Soap backer. What do you guys think? Is an Android-powered router a good idea, or a potential security concern? How many devices around the house do you control, and are your current means good enough?

 

Reader comments

This Android-powered router will let you remotely disconnect devices

59 Comments

Tell it to AC and there buggy system... I was not even in this article...
I'm getting stutters and lag just like a G3 with it's 801 chipset.. since AC changed things.
Just like LG, they should have waited for the stronger chipset... This ain't cuttin it.

That's always the first step..
To Recognize you have issues opening your mouth when not told.. Now, go work on them.

Must be something on your end or browser, I'm on a stock Nexus 5 with a slower 800 and the only major annoyance with the new layout is the way your profile icon grows in size and freezes up on the top corner even when the header hides away (particularly bad when zoomed in deeply into a page, it's almost the size of one and a half SwiftKey keys right now for me).

I don't really care about security on my home router however I do care about the signal strength the thing outputs. It can have all the bells and whistles technology can afford but if you can only get a good wifi signal from it when you sit on top of the thing, it will make a pointless wireless router.

Oh, I stand corrected. I guess you can go ahead and remove the password from your WiFi network (assuming you have one).

Police pulled over a guy a with a laptop at 3 am on my street driving up and down our street stopping in front of various houses for 20 minutes at a time for an hour, and he was not a neighbor or friend of one, and I called my local police. My guess is the guy was trying to crack people's wifi to get into their home wireless devices. I saw him and tried to give the police an idea of what he was possibly doing when I called the dispatch, but I don't think she understood why and how someone could do that.

The police stopped him with guns out for a half hour. I don't think they put two and two together on his intentions and having a laptop powered on next to him, and probably thought he was just scoping out houses. They did let him go after a while.

Even if they suspected, I imagine it's beyond the scope of a regular police department to prove what he was doing. What charges could they even have arrested him for? Not like they could even take a look at the laptop without a warrant (which they wouldn't get given the circunstancial evidence). Loitering?

You should care about piggybacking, not wardriving. I'm guessing you overlooked the "driving" part of wardriving (not stationery).

Posted via Android Central App on my HP TouchPad (Schizoid PAC-ROM 4.2.2)

I was expecting the usual touch-screen router silliness I've come to expect from the established players (Netgear, Belkin, etc), but this actually makes a bit of sense. Incorporating other WiFi-band standards into it by way of apps is a great idea, and cuts down on the need for other dedicated hardware. It also might help reduce WiFi interference.

Not a bad idea, and the price is right. Router prices have been getting pretty silly as of late... nice to see someone trying to disrupt that trend by actually bringing in new features.

That is the feature I want without having to do a 2 router system and gargoyle. I want the ability to limit bandwidth to all devices other than mine so that I don't slow down while gaming or streaming because someone else wanted to do something.

I am using a $20 netgear wireless G router. Not sure why I'd buy something like this. I suppose some of the automation features might be nice but I am not sure the router in the thing that should control that and I doubt most of it will work as intended.

If you are using a $20 netgear wireless g router, this thing is certainly not geared for you, and your opinion about this actually states why you still have a wireless g router. If you are fine with that than you must not be using it for a whole lot.

To be fair, the vast majority of people don't need anything better either. A ton of people with larger houses would be better served with two cheap routers for under $100 than one top of the line AC router for $200... As long as you can wire one to the other you'd get better coverage. Most people don't use their WiFi network for anything but broadband access, very often one stream at a time, maybe two; and broadband speeds are lagging so hard that you don't need a top of the line router not to bottleneck that.

I have a Gigabit switch at home and whenever I wanted to do something over the network to a laptop I'd hook it up near the desktop/switch... Only recently did I swap out my ancient Linksys WRT54G for a modern ASUS RT-AC68U because the old Linksys finally died and I've been making more use of the network to transfer content to my tablet (plus I expect there will be more frequent/contiguous streaming in the household once we switch to fiber, from our PoS DSL).

Most people never transfer things across their network from device to device and they barely queue more than a couple streams at a time unless it's a big family in a big house, and even then you're still mostly constrained by broadband bandwidth. As to this concept, I dunno, hard to make anything of a Kickstarter campaign...

Android's pushed into some embedded markets very successfully, but it's also flopped pretty hard in other consumer markets (high end cameras running Android), not because the potential wasn't there but because it was poorly realized (Samsung was the main player behind higher end ILCs w/Android so...). I don't think running Android inherently makes something like this better unless they put a ton of work on the implementation, which is sometimes hard to do because of proprietary drivers etc.

I think you make an excellent point. I'm interested in seeing this reviewed after retail market deployment and six months of real world use. Buying this sooner than that in favor of an AC68 (or in my case my trusted N66) is just not that appealing.

G router you stuck in 2004? Are you using internet explorer 6 to view this webpage?

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

Makes it look more like a scam to me. Even if this wasn't overkill for my needs, I wouldn't back them because it looks too fishy.

Posted via Android Central App

That's a little too much intelligence to put on the perimeter of my network thanks.

We've got about 25 devices networked in total including garage door automation via GoGoGate however my router's a rather straightforward Asus RT-N66U with most extra functionality disabled except for the VPN.

That said, I'd buy one if they'd just PUT MORE DAMN ETHERNET PORTS on it. Some of us need more than 4 you know..

Adding a 8-port switch to your router will have no discernible speed impact on your network, no configuration required, and costs next to nothing.

And it's cheap too, my 5 port Netgear Gigabit switch with their old school metal case was all of $35. Just plug it into the router like you would a USB hub and it'll work instantly, could be at the end of a 100 ft Ethernet cord and it'll work just the same.

Yeh been there done that - I have 3 x 4 port switches scattered throughout the house - but you're kind of missing the point.
I don't want 2 boxes (router and switch) where one will do, and it complicates things because of the need for more electrical sockets and additional cables everywhere.
There is obviously a demand for more than 4 ports nowadays and I fail to understand why the higher end routers don't carry more than 4.

After having crappy router after crappy router I spent money on the ASUS RT-AC66U. Spend the money, it is worth it. Never have to reset it...never have issues. My neighbors get my network ID about 3 houses down.

I love the concept and whatnot but I recommend spending the money on the ASUS routers. They are fantastic.

Lol dude I agree with you on OPPO but you don't need to spread it to every article

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

I was looking through the specs and noticed a Freescale 1GHZ A9 processor. I have a GK802 Mini PC with that chip. Not impressed at all to put it mildly. I also don't like the idea of the design with all of those cables and connections coming out of all the sides. personally. If they really want to provide a display fine, but make it like a head unit that attaches to the main device. I think this idea could be pretty cool in a mesh setup in a home with cabling recessed in a box behind the wall or something with just the display visible.

The Freescale chip is a no go for me.

Freescale is unfortunately one of the few chip fabricators still making silicon here in the US, and they're trying to keep everything in these boxes "made in the USA." TI no longer makes a consumer-level SoC, and Qualcomm's fabrication is all overseas (mostly made by Samsung now).

These people have been asking for money for a while. And if I recall correctly someone called them out for posting images of a diagram or schematic of their product that wasn't actually theirs. I'll believe it when I see someone actually using a test product and not just computer images. Totally needs to be advertised at 3 am by the ghost of Billy Mays

Nexus 5 4.4.2
Got sideload?

--Wireless router with dual band AC capability and a touch screen...$129.
--Wireless router with a Quad core processor......$229.
--To be able to turn off the PS3, TV, etc remotely after telling my kids to go to bed,,,,,PRICELESS!!!!!
TAKE MY MONEY!

Posted via Android Central App

Not too sure about this really. Do we really need a touchscreen that big on the router itself? Usually you wouldn't go near it once its installed and you'd do all the config via the web interface.

It would need some solid NAS credentials for it to justify the use of a heavy OS like Android, hopefully it can make use of apps for bittorrent and provide fast transfer rates (>60MB/s) to and from attached external USB 3 drives.

The worry with using Android will how often it is patched, the vendors will have to provide some really good support for it.

I already use a Linux based router called Mikrotik. I recently bought a RB2011 and it has no trouble passing all of my 105/10 connection from Comcast. It does have a rudimentary touch screen but no fancy app. But I can SSH into it from anywhere.

Interesting. Their prices are surprisingly reasonable given the feature set. Why have I never heard of these people before?

They are heavily used in the wireless ISP business. Fixed wireless not mobile wireless. They have gotten much better over the years. About 8 years ago I was using them to connect to upstream providers via BGP and route the whole internal network with OSPF. Now I use it as my home router, LOL.

I've been looking for a way to consolidate my old Netgear WNR3500l and my pfsense box into a single device. Most options that can handle my 100 megabit service are pushing $200. The RB2011 looks like the answer to my problem. Would be nice if all nine ports were gigabit, but that's not a deal breaker.