For those looking for 801.11ac gigabit wireless when they buy their next router, Cisco will soon have a suitable option. The company today announced its forthcoming Linksys EA6500 router, which will feature 802.11n connectivity on the 2.4GHz band and 802.11ac signals with theoretical speeds of up to 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band. It'll also feature six internal antennas, four gigabit ethernet ports, and will retail for $219.99 when it launches in August — interested parties can pre-order now at Cisco's site.
This router will join Cisco's previously-announced group of "smart" Wi-Fi routers, and will also be able to hook into the Cisco Connect Cloud. This new app platform was also announced back in April, but Cisco has now flipped the switch, so anyone who purchased one of the company's new smart routers can now set up a Connect Cloud account. Once you've set your account up, you can manage your home wireless network remotely from any computer or with an Android or iOS phone. While useful, the real potential for Cloud Connect comes from its app platform — developers can write apps to let users manage other devices connected to their home Wi-Fi network.
There are a handful of apps available already for iOS and Android — for example, the Gemini IP Camera Viewer will let you check in on any internet-connected video camera in your home. Offerings for this service are minimal (there are six apps listed on Cisco's site), but the company also launched its Linksys Developer Community to help spur more apps to help users manage their Wi-Fi-connected homes. It seems like Cisco's envisioning a world in which all of your major appliances are hooked up to Wi-Fi, with users managing their home automation through its routers. While it remains to be seen whether users need yet another app platform, there's a chance that Connect Cloud could help push the home automation dream closer to reality.