Big names, modest device

I attended an intriguing dinner in Woodside last night.

The dinner was ostensibly to promote a new wireless router being launched by FON, a Spanish company. The router — dubbed the Fonera 2.0 — is somewhat interesting, adding some neat features that most comparable devices don’t have, such as the ability to upload files to the Internet while your computer is turned off and the ability to offer — and make money off of — a public hot spot without granting the hoi polloi access to files on you home network.

But the dinner was much more interesting for who attended than the product that inspired it. The guest list was a notable cross section of the digerati and tech blogosphere. Among those present: Tech Crunch founder Michael Arrington; Scobleizer‘s Robert Scoble; Ryan Block, a former editor at Engadget and more recently the founder of Gdgt, a new tech “community” site; Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and a marketing manager at the social networking company; Dave Morin, Facebook’s senior platform manager; and Jeff Clavier, founder and managing partner of SoftTech VC.
I didn’t take a poll, but my guess is that the guests were mostly there to see each other — I have to admit that was my primary interest in the event — or to get a nice meal at Woodside’s Village Pub (whose name belies its swank ambiance) — than to check out the device itself.

After all, that’s a pretty high-powered guest list for what — let’s be frank — is just a WiFi router, a device that will for less than $100 at your local Best Buy. This is a device, too, that will likely have a hard time establishing itself in the marketplace.

More and more consumers are getting their WiFi routers from their Internet service providers, rather than buying them at retail. Meanwhile, the shelf space at the local electronics store is dominated by devices from established players such as Netgear, Cisco’s Linksys and D-Link.

Give than, FON CEO Martin Varsavsky, has pretty modest expectations of how the new device will do in the U.S. market. Noting the “giants” in the router business, he said “We want to be the tallest of the midgets.”

For a night, though, Varsavsky was certainly not among the little people.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Share this Post

  • I need to bring back my Dlink-615 router to factory setting. The CD that came with the router launch with the Start Up Wizard. I need to start all over with creating modification, user password and a new SSID. The error notice say that I need to reconfigure using the first password which has been alter so many times by reconfiguring. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.