If you're like a lot of people using a wireless router for your Internet connection, you know they can be problematic. If that one device's signal goes on the fritz, your whole family is out of luck.
One problem is that routers use radio waves, instead of cables. Those waves can get blocked behind buildings and other things. Sometimes, that one signal is just weak. There are options to extend the signal with antennas and Ethernet connections, but these setups can be complicated.
In comes Luma. It's a soon-to-be-released device partially funded by investors like Beats by Dr. Dre's CMO and Yahoo's Chairman, Maynard Webb.
It's a small device that transmits what Luma calls surround Wi-Fi. It's an a/b/g/n/ac router and it supports 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi. It uses the 802.11ac wireless networking standard.
It has a pretty cool design, too, so you may find yourself showing it off, rather than hiding it behind a flower pot. Each Luma is roughly 4.6 inches by 1.18 inches. They come in four colors, including orange and silver. (See photo.)
It uses something called mesh networking. Simply, each device wirelessly transmits data to other devices. It can be used to deliver Internet connections. It cuts down on connection and hardware problems because, if one mini router isn't working, the others will continue to operate.
Mesh networking is likely to play a role in the Internet of Things. That's when your smart devices, like your refrigerator, communicate with each other via the Internet.
To use Luma, you plug one into your modem, and that transmits signals to the other Lumas in your house. Executives at Luma say it's not merely a router extender, but something previously available only to large companies.
You set Luma up using an Android or iOS app. You can control who's on your network, and set control settings for young children. You can also set up time limits for users, so your kids eventually log off, whether they want to or not.
Luma will also have security features, such as alerting you to any malware on your computers. It can also spot computers using weak passwords. (Need a strong password? Check this out.)
You can pre-order Luma for delivery in 2016. One device goes for $99, but you can buy three for $249. Those prices will double soon, so you may want to act fast.
Check out this video of how Luma works.