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Netgear’s Lo Spells Out Smart-Home Concept

LAS VEGAS – Netgear founder and CEO Patrick Lo spelled out his company’s plan to create the “smart home” during his company’s International CES press event.

Netgear’s mission for the next 10 to 15 years is to have everything in a home that is powered by electricity connected to the Internet, said Lo.

“Going forward we want to extend beyond speeds and feeds to the start of the smart home,” Lo said during Netgear’s press conference at CES.

Lo pointed out that the smart-home concept has just begun for Netgear. With about $1.5 billion worth of product selling worldwide in 2012, he expects this figure to more than double to $3.6 billion by 2015. The smart home will include everything from home automation and control to home security, he said. If this figure is reached, it could equate to 30 percent of homes in this country having some smart devices installed, Lo said.

To make it immediately accessible to the average consumer, Netgear will focus on delivering products that can be installed as a do-it-yourself project and not requiring specialized help.

The first Netgear smart-home device to come to market is the VueZone night-vision camera. This is an addition to the company’s VueZone line, which is now on the market. These are very small, wireless, battery-powered cameras that quickly connect to a home network and whose content can be viewed from any web-connected computer or mobile device.

The cameras are motion sensitive and can take video or snapshots; the content is stored in the Cloud. The night-vision capability is done via an included IR lamp.

It just started shipping at $129.

Netgear also revealed a range of new products at the show, including new 802.11ac routers and range extenders. It is also adding SlingPlayer to other devices.

The D6200 802.11ac dual band gigabit modem router, shipping in April for $199, features the company’s ReadyShare Cloud remote access, 867MBps datatransfer speeds, home-network manager software and Netgear’s Genie EZ Mobile Connect app.

Genie allows in-home and mobile connectivity to a home network, enabling access to files stored on attached storage devices. The app is a free download. The modem router is also equipped with Beamforming technology that increases performance by locating the wireless device and directly targeting it with the router’s signal.

Also debuting was Netegear’s NeoTV Prime with Google TV, which is now available at $129. This is a streaming video player that lets the consumer search the web using sevices like Amazon Instant Video, HBOGo and Flixter for video content.

The company has also added Sling Media’s SlingPlayer as a streaming channel to its line of NeoTV players.

Netgear put a twist on its latest range extender. The Netgear Universal dualband Wi-Fi extender, Wall Plug edition, not only will stretch a Wi-Fi signal, but it can connect to wireless speakers using AirPlay or DLNA. This will allow audio to stream directly from a computer, tablet or phone to the speakers.

It is available with a $99 suggested retail.