The Premise. A smart home control hub is great for giving access to all the connected devices in a house or apartment, but why shouldn’t the hub be able to do more than just give access? Why can’t it give control to devices, usage, security, or any other important aspect of a home network?
The Product. Soap is a powerful Android tablet that also doubles as a smart home hub and a full wireless router. Designed to over complete control over all connected devices in the home and the people who use them, Soap is built with functionality, security, and complete control in mind.
The Pitch. Soap’s campaign video is a bit of an understatement when it comes to the kind of flexible power the device actually offers. The video shows the device mostly as a control for connected amenities and accessories, but downplays Soap’s qualities as a fully-featured Android tablet or its ability to work with other Soap devices, something that really sets this device apart from others. Soap is raising $42,500 to complete testing and begin production. The campaign is also implementing an incentive scheme that allows backers to accrue credits toward a free product by sharing links with a personal code.
The Perks. The basic Soap Solo is available to backers who pledge $240. For $5 more, the device will be delivered two months earlier. (December 2014 compared to February 2015) At $250, a beta Soap Solo will be sent out in October. The Soap Dual, with a dual core processor is available at $280 (beta at $350), the quad-core Soap Quad starts at $360, and the Soap 8.4 with a larger 8.4 inch display and a quad-core processor starts at $500, with the beta version at $550. Higher tiers include multiple devices for setting up a whole home or more, with the highest tier coming with a boggling 100 Soap units.
The Potential. Soap seems like a great way to really integrate the wireless router, smart home hub, and control center into one neat, portable package. What keeps Soap from being redundant in both the tablet and smart hub markets is that it fully functions as both, simultaneously even. The processing power and ability for Soap units to create a more powerful mesh network when used in tandem allow for something that works as a great in-home tablet for watching movies, listening to music, or being productive providing you don’t move it from its fixed location. However, it just as easily lets you move that content around across other devices while simultaneously allowing users to turn off lights, change the thermostat, or notify kids to get ready for bed without interrupting usage. Soap may just be blending two great technological tastes into one concoction, but it’s doing so with the necessary horsepower to not cut any corners.