Mesh WiFi is still considered a new product in most markets with few consumers understanding the technology behind it or the benefits over wifi extenders. Many people simply use the basic wifi in the modem or router supplied by their broadband provider, though I imagine we’ll see mesh wifi incorporated into their offerings over the next year or so. Sky already has with their Sky Q product.
For those of us geeks who’d rather do our own thing, Ubiquiti have announced the availability of their AmpliFi HD Mesh Wi-Fi products in the United Kingdom. The AmpliFi system starts with a modernist cube HD Router that has a neat touchscreen display showing up and download speeds. The wifi network is extended with MeshPoints which plug directly into power sockets. These look discrete and stylish too [Correction – the picture shows a US plug on the MeshPoint, not a UK plug, so it will be the right way up.]
In addition to the hardware, AmpliFi HD offers plug-and-play setup through an app that directly links AmpliFi devices to a smartphone (or tablet) via Bluetooth. With the app, owners can manage their network, monitor ISP speeds, invite guests, create family profiles, check network security and access in-app support. AmpliFi uses 802.11ac WiFi technology, powering up to 5.45 Gb/s of aggregate wireless throughput. Being mesh, AmpliFi provides great speed and great coverage. Spec-wise, AmpliFi is a dual-band system, supporting 802.11ac plus the usual b/g/a/n, with 3×3 antennas.
There’s a note with the MeshPoints that they can pair with an “an existing router [turning it] into a powerful mesh network” which is interesting. I’d assume that there’s some kind of minimum spec, such as 11ac, to make this work effectively.
Investing in mesh wifi is a significant investment. The AmpliFi starter kit with HD Router and two MeshPoints costs the best part of GB£350. Additional MeshPoints are £132. (Prices are similar in US$, to be honest). Interested? The AmpliFi HD Mesh WiFi is currently on sale through Scan and Amazon.
Line 6 is a musical instrument and audio equipment manufacturer that’s been a real industry innovator for nearly two decades. I bought my first Line 6 guitar amp back in 2001 and have been hooked on the company’s products ever since. At this point, it’d be a neck-and-neck battle between Line 6 and Apple as far as which company has made a bigger dent in my overall net worth.
One thing that Line 6 has done recently that’s really intriguing is the development of “remote” apps that work wirelessly with its various products. The first of these connected-app lines is the Amplifi guitar amp/smart speaker system. Amplifi was designed to bridge the gap between practicing at home and jamming with other musicians. At home, the Amplifi could be used as a speaker for entertainment systems. At the rehearsal space, Amplifi also works as a full-power electric guitar amp.
Amplifi is also the first Line 6 product to use a remote app to control different features of the device. The app originally launched for Android and iOS, running both on iPhone and iPad. Now, Line 6 has brought its Amplifi Remote app to Apple Watch:
The new AMPLIFi Remote v2.11 update enables guitar players to control and access guitar tones via Apple Watch. Guitarists can now access tones, control levels, search the Line 6 Tone Cloud, and use the tuner, right from their wrist. AMPLIFi Remote works with the entire AMPLIFi family, and provides guitarists with unprecedented control over every aspect of their guitar tone and effects.
Amplifi Remote features such as Tuner, MyTones and master/instrument level controls will be accessibly directly on the Apple Watch version of the app. Users will also be able to do a “dictation search” of Line 6’s Tone Cloud service, which will allow them to use vocal requests to search thru guitar tones saved to Line 6’s cloud service. Tones can then be quickly loaded onto an Amplifi device for immediate use.
It’s great to see Line 6’s continued development of things like the Amplifi Remote App. The company has also started rolling out other products that work with similar apps. I’m definitely excited to see what else Line 6 comes up with this year.