Portal’s router searches for hidden wireless channels

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Spare a thought this morning for the router. Ubiquitous, necessary, largely despised. Given how far we’ve come in the world of consumer electronics over the past several years, you’d think someone would have cracked the code by now. Hey, if a company can make thermostats and smoke detectors sexy, surely the same can be done for the lowly router.

Announced back in May by a group of Qualcomm expats, Portal was the latest attempt to bring the technology up to the demands of our multi-device households. Rather than focusing on the touchscreen interface like Securifi’s Almond or the range extension of a Luma, the device promises to extend wireless operations beyond just the 2.4GHz and 5GHz offerings. It’s a veritable Lollapalooza of wireless bands.

Among others features, the system utilizes radar detection to access otherwise untapped bits of the 5GHz spectrum. The startup refers to the multi-channel technology as “Fastlanes.” There’s also something called “Smartlanes,” which promises to optimize network usage based on available bandwidth.

Hey, look, here’s a handy animated GIF:

portalwifichannels

All of that promise was enough to guarantee the company a successful Kickstarter campaign back in May, scoring the company a lofty $791,862 – well above its $160k goal. Now the company is ready to take its little white router to retail, with pre-orders hitting Amazon for $199 a pop – that’s $60 more than the early bird price. Devices are expected to start shipping early next month.