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Linksys wants wireless routers to do more than just internet

Linksys E4200
Linksys E4200

Cisco hasn't done particularly well in the consumer electronics game and decided not to play anymore in April when it discontinued the Flip video camera and Umi Telepresence. The company's only consumer offerings now fit neatly into the Linksys brand of home networking products, but it wants to make your router more than just an internet gateway. In an interview with IDG, Cisco's Brett Wingo said Linksys wants to meet the growing multimedia demands of home networks with 802.11n routers that can stream video to any device in the house — and the wheels are already turning, if Cisco's acquisition of BNI Video, and the launch of wireless IPTV products for AT&T's U-Verse are any indication.

Wingo also mentioned that Linksys wants routers to be the central hub for all devices that connect to an outside network, including smart TVs and thermostats; and that these hubs would use industry standards so people aren't locked into a single brand. It's a subtle indication that Cisco sees home automation as an inevitable part of the future, and doesn't want to be left out. There was a time when Linksys was the go-to name for wireless hardware — maybe it can bring another layer of brand recognition to the next generation of home networking.