Netgear unveils Smart Network Cloud App Platform, invites developers

Netgear unveils at CES 2012 its Smart Network Cloud Application Platform, which allows anyone to develop apps for its networking devices.

Netgear's Smart Network Cloud Platform is unveiled at CES 2012
Netgear's Smart Network Cloud Platform is unveiled at CES 2012 Dong Ngo/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Netgear announced today at CES 2012 its Smart Network Cloud Application Platform (SNCP), which enables consumers to purchase and download apps from the cloud to optimize and personalize their networking devices.

The company says Smart Network apps, ranging from games to tools and utilities, can be developed by anyone. For example, an independent programmer can develop a simple data-usage meter app that alerts consumers when their data cap is about to run out. Utility companies can also provide applications that allow users to monitor their energy usage. Or game developers can provide apps that optimize the connection for high-bandwidth games.

These apps are designed to add more functions, features, or even just some quick customized settings, depending on the type of device. According to Somshubhro Pal Choudhury, Netgear's director of product marketing, the app platform helps personalize the user experience a great deal.

The Smart Network Cloud Application Platform will be available exclusively via Netgear's latest products, such as the WNDR4700 router that was also announced today. Future networking devices, including NAS servers and media players, will also support SNCP.

These products will come with a new dashboard called AppManager from which you can select and use downloadable apps from a cloud-based store operated by Netgear. This is somewhat similar to Apple's App Store or the Android Market. The AppManager will offer apps built both by Netgear and by third-party vendors. Netgear hopes that over time more apps will be added that change the way people use their networking devices.

Netgear says it's inviting developers to join the Smart Network Cloud Application Platform with the release of the Smart Network software development kit (SDK), which includes the API that determines how its network devices and other applications interact on the Smart Network. The company says it's now accepting applications from developers to become a part of the Smart Network developer Early Access Program.

 

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