Pretty art screen startup Meural gets acquired by ugly wifi router company

The startup behind the Meural art frame has been acquired by Netgear. The deal was announced during the router company’s analyst day and was confirmed to TechCrunch by a Meural spokesperson. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Netgear may feel like an odd suitor for this consumer hardware startup, but they were an early investor in them and the buy is certainly no more strange than the last exit in this smart art space, when Giphy bought Electric Objects, torched the hardware business and made the subscription content free to existing users.

Meural has built some very nice hardware. At $595 the company’s art frames are a bit pricier than other products in the market, though its $40 annual subscription to its art network is much more palatable. The device’s gesture controls also offer some quality controls beyond the mobile app.

Netgear seems to have some real interest in bringing the Meural hardware into its plans to hide wifi routers in plain sight in people’s homes, an analyst at the event noted in Forbes.

It’s certainly an interesting prospect, this seems like an odd product to exercise this strategy with though. Smart art frames are at their ugliest when the power cord can’t be hidden and it’s probably going to be a tad difficult for you to hide ethernet cords on your wall unless you’re hiding them in the wall which doesn’t work great when so many smart home hubs need a direct connection to your router.

Meural raised $9.3 million in funding from investors including Corigin Ventures, Bolt, Forefront Ventures, Firstrock Capital and Netgear.

Netgear’s Arlo Brand Gains New Wire-Free Smart Audio Doorbell

Netgear’s Arlo brand today announced the launch of the new Arlo Audio Doorbell and Arlo Chime, a new smart doorbell solution that’s designed to pair with wire-free cameras in the Arlo lineup.

The Arlo Audio Doorbell doesn’t include its own camera, as it’s meant to be used with existing Arlo home security camera options. It pairs up with an Arlo camera installed in a home’s entryway and adds doorbell functionality, but it can also be used on a standalone audio-only basis.



Able to work via batteries or as a replacement for a home’s existing doorbell setup, when the Arlo Audio Doorbell is pressed, it activates your iPhone with an incoming VoIP call interface so you can speak with whoever is at your door. If you’re not home, the person can leave an audio message.

“When a guest rings the Arlo Audio Doorbell, users immediately receive a phone call on their smartphone via the Arlo app, prompting them to either answer the call or send a prerecorded message for a quick reply. Couple this standout feature with the simple, wire-free setup and users have a seamless way to modernize the traditional doorstep greeting.”

A connected camera provides an image of the entryway so you can see who is at the door through the accompanying Arlo app, and with the addition of the Arlo Smart Chime speaker, you can hear the doorbell ring anywhere in the house if you’ve replaced your existing chime.



When paired with a camera that includes the Arlo Smart subscription service, intelligent people detection is included and there’s an option to call emergency services closest to the camera’s location.

The Arlo Audio Doorbell is resistant to weather conditions that include snow, rain, and heat, and your incoming audio calls are recorded and can be played back for 7 days with included 7-day rolling audio cloud storage.

The Arlo Audio Doorbell and Chime are an interesting alternative to other smart doorbell setups for those who are already in the Arlo ecosystem. As Arlo home security cameras don’t include HomeKit, the new doorbell also will not be HomeKit-compatible.

Arlo plans to share more information on the Arlo Audio Doorbell and Chime, including pricing, later this year.

Tag: NETGEAR

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Arlo adds a smart doorbell to its home security offerings

Netgear home security spinoff Arlo just added another key hardware piece to its growing portfolio of connected devices. The Arlo Audio Doorbell is a kind of Ring/Nest (to which it bears a pretty striking resemblance) competitor that sends calls to the home owner’s smartphone every time someone buzzes the door. Visitors can either talk to the user or leave a voicemail message.

The product, which runs on two of AA batteries (getting around a year of use, according to the company) or can be wired directly into the house’s electrical system.

Interestingly, unlike much of the competition, Arlo didn’t build camera functionality directly into the doorbell. That’s likely, in part, a cost cutting measure. It also gives users some flexibility. If that do want that funtionality, they can pair it with one of the company’s numerous cameras.

It can also be paired with the new Smart Chime accessory, offering a more traditional doorbell experience. You can install as many of those as you want around your gigantic, cavernous home. Both new products arrive in the fall. No price has been announced, but the product should sell pretty briskly, given how successful the rest of the company’s line has proven, thus far. 

Year-old router bug exploited to steal sensitive DOD drone, tank documents

In May, a hacker perusing vulnerable systems with the Shodan search engine found a Netgear router with a known vulnerability—and came away with the contents of a US Air Force captain’s computer. The purloined files from the captain—the officer in charge (OIC) of the 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s MQ-9 Reaper Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU)at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada—included export-controlled information regarding Reaper drone maintenance.

The hacker took the documents to a Dark Web marketplace, where he planned on selling them for a few hundred dollars. And it’s there that analysts from Recorded Future, an information security threat intelligence company, discovered them.

US Air Force/Recorded Future

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Netgear’s Arlo security camera spinoff files for IPO

Netgear’s Arlo wing has been a surprise hit for the networking company. The line of cameras are relatively new to the market, but they’ve utterly dominated the connected security space, breathing new life into the company in the process.

Back in February, Netgear spun off Arlo, courtesy of unanimous board approval and announced plans to file an IPO in the process. That bit came to fruition this week, as the company filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The security camera company has also applied for the “ARLO” ticker symbol with the New York Stock Exchange. Makes sense.

As it notes in a press release tied to the news, neither the number of shares nor price range have not been determined yet. Earlier this year, however, it suggested that it would issue less than 20 percent of common stock, while retaining interest on the rest. As usual, all of this is pending approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

According to the company, “BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, and Guggenheim Securities are acting as lead book-running managers for the proposed offering. Raymond James, Cowen and Imperial Capital are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering.”

The Arlo line has been highly successful for Netgear, in spite of it playing in a crowded market alongside the likes of Ring, Nest and Canary. The unit effectively doubled revenue between 2016 and 2017, as connected home devices pushed toward mainstream acceptance.

Arlo Pro Camera Firmware Release Notes Suggest Incoming HomeKit Support

Netgear’s line of connected smart home cameras, called “Arlo,” currently only support HomeKit for the Arlo Baby camera. However, this could be changing in the near future as release notes posted by an Arlo community manager on the company forums suggest that support for HomeKit will be part of a soon-to-launch firmware update for the Arlo Pro camera.

There are a variety of wire-free and AC-powered Arlo devices, including the base Arlo camera, Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Go, Arlo Q, and Arlo Q Plus. According to the release notes in the forums, HomeKit would only be coming to the wire-free Arlo Pro camera. Recent release notes for the Arlo Pro 2 lack a mention of HomeKit support, but it’s unclear why the company would limit HomeKit to just the first generation of the Arlo Pro line.



For the Arlo Pro, the update also includes a fix for high pixelation of images, support for new Wi-Fi codes, and more.

Arlo Pro Camera 1.092.0.13_19715

– Fix for high pixilation of images

– Include backwards error correction to minimize ghosting

– Add support for new wifi codes

Add support for Homekit

– Add support for H15 hardware

– Bug Fixes

Netgear introduced HomeKit into the Arlo Baby camera in February through an update to the Arlo iOS app. When smart home devices support HomeKit, users can then add them into Apple’s Home app, where it’s much easier to connect a variety of products into scenes for a home that can then be controlled with a tap of a button or through Siri.

Yesterday, Netgear launched the Arlo Security Light as a companion product to its cameras. The wire-free LED light illuminates outdoor areas, can detect motion, and mainly touts Amazon Alexa support on its web page.

Apple sells the Arlo Baby camera on Apple.com for $189.95, along with other HomeKit-compatible security cameras like the Logitech Circle 2 ($179.95) and D-Link Omna Cam ($149.95). Arlo Pro cameras are comparatively more expensive because they require a base station. Arlo Pro starts at $249.99 for one camera and a station, and the Arlo Pro 2 starts at $479.99 for two cameras and a station.

(Thanks, Ryan!)

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Netgear Debuts New 2-in-1 Orbi Modem Router System Starting at $300

Netgear today announced the “Orbi Tri-Band Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router System,” an all-new 2-in-1 device designed to replace an existing cable modem and router setup. The system covers up to 4,000 square feet, and sold-separately Orbi Satellites can expand coverage by an additional 2,000 square feet each.

The new Orbi is compatible with all major cable internet service providers, and Netgear pointed out that it’s designed to work “right out of the box” for Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and more. This is Orbi’s first product that combines its Wi-Fi mesh networking abilities with a modem.



If users don’t own their modem, many ISPs offer leases with rental costs at around $10/month added on top of the cost of an internet bill. Because of this, Netgear is pitching the new Orbi as a cost-saving measure for users to replace their existing products “and save up to $120 per year.” The new Orbi starts at $299.99.

“We’re excited to be the first retail offering to combine the benefits of Orbi whole-home WiFi mesh networking with an embedded cable modem in a single, space-saving device,” said David Henry, senior vice president of Connected Home Products for NETGEAR.

“With the Orbi Tri-Band WiFi Cable Modem System, you’ll benefit from incredibly fast cable downloads and blazing-fast WiFi for an uninterrupted data flow to more connected devices, everywhere in your home, plus tons of great Orbi features like voice commands and smart parental controls, which will be added to the offering soon.”

On the modem side of things, the Orbi integrates a DOCSIS 3.0 CableLabs-certified modem with 32×8 channel bonding and download speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps. Netgear said the device’s router supports high-performance Wi-Fi up to 2.2 Gbps; multi-user multiple-input, multiple-output technology; and includes a quad-core processor for better 4K video streaming.

Orbi also has “Smart Connect Technology” that chooses the best Wi-Fi band for each device on a network, avoiding interference and optimizing network performance, while Beamforming+ improves speed and range for 2.4 and 5 GHz devices. The Orbi itself includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports so that users can attach wired devices and ensure even faster file transfers and reliable connections.

The system uses a connected iOS app that lets users set up the device, manage their network, update software, and other features. Netgear said that Orbi is compatible with voice commands for Alexa and Google Assistant, but didn’t mention Siri support.

The Orbi Tri-Band Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router will be available to purchase soon for $299.99, while a bundle with one Orbi satellite runs for $399.99.

Tags: NETGEAR, Orbi

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Netgear put a cable modem in latest Orbi wifi router

Generations ago, the internet spoke of an old saying that involved a man exhibiting excitement about hearing of a person’s love of an object, so he did favor, and put that something inside of something else. That’s what Netgear did here. Netgear heard people like the internet so much that the company put an internet modem inside a wifi router.

The Orbi WiFi System with Built-in Cable Modem is just that. It’s an Orbi wifi router with a DOCSIS® 3.0 cable modem built in. In theory this setup would make for easier setup and troubleshooting of internet issues while providing the home with great wifi.

I have an Orbi system in my house and it’s wonderful. The system does a far better job at covering my home with wifi than my previous single router setup. Including the cable modem in the setup, though, just makes sense and other networking companies would be smart to follow Netgear’s lead. Naturally, there’s a danger in including a cable modem in a router as one piece could become obsolete before the other but I would argue that most consumers upgrade their equipment every few years anyway.

This convinence comes at a cost. The router with built-in Orbi networking costs $299 and a system with an Orbi extender costs $399.