Comcast Sweeps Up PowerCloud
PowerCloud Systems, maker of the Skydog WiFi router and management software, is now, reportedly, a Comcast property.
The startup which spun off from the Xerox research and development organization known as the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), announced on its website last week that it had been acquired, but gave no hint to the identity of the buyer. TechCrunch, however, discovered clues suggesting Comcast's involvement a short time later and now reports that the purchase by Comcast is confirmed. According to TechCrunch, the deal came in at under $50 million. It was not listed in a Comcast SEC filing. So far, Comcast has not been available for comment.
PowerCloud launched its Skydog WiFi router and bandwidth monitoring app as a Kickstarter campaign in April 2013 and began shipping product late last summer. In addition to providing detailed information on home network activity, the solution allows customers to control Internet usage by allocating specific bandwidth allowances to different devices. It also includes substantial parental control features.
The idea of providing more granular control over home networks is growing in popularity. As more devices are connected to the Internet, there is more concern over how bandwidth resources are used. Earlier this year, Israeli company Celeno launched its own advanced WiFi management technology called OptimizAIR 2.0. The software enables provisioning and dynamic bandwidth allocations based on device or network SSID. Celeno announced last month that the technology is now being integrated into routers manufactured by Edimax, and the startup has numerous other hardware companies on its customer roster. (See Comcast Offers WiFi to KDDI, Taiwan Mobile Subs and Arris builds in Celeno's Wi-Fi.)
Again according to TechCrunch, Comcast will not continue selling the Skydog hardware and software at retail. Instead, the company will integrate the technology into its "Smart Internet" strategy to improve the management of connected devices in the home.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading