I suppose all routers are smart by definition, but the Almond 3, Securifi's third-gen wireless AC router, takes things to a new level. Aside from boasting a Zigbee radio that can wrangle your smart home gadgets (same as the previous-gen Almond), the Almond 3 boasts a built-in siren, letting it double as a DIY security hub. It'll sell for $119 (AU$170, £80) when it makes its debut this summer.
Shown off at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, the Almond 3 is just as good-looking as the previous generation, and it doesn't change much up in terms of design. You'll still set the thing up using the wizard feature on the touchscreen, and you'll still use the Almond app to pair it with your smart home gadgets, including popular gadgets like the Nest Learning Thermostat and Philips Hue LEDs.
The siren is a new feature though. Using the Almond app's rules engine, you can set the Almond 3 to go off if a sensor gets tripped at an odd hour. The nice thing here is that the rules engine allows for multiple triggers and multiple effects -- instead of if this, then that, think if this and this, then that and that. A practical example might be the siren sounding and the Zigbee lights coming on if a motion sensor gets tripped and you're away from home.
Another nice feature: local storage of those rules. Even when the Wi-Fi goes out, the Almond 3 will still talk to your gadgets over Zigbee, and since it doesn't need the cloud to tell it what your settings are, everything should continue to operate like normal. There's no battery backup, though, so you'll be less impressed if the power goes out.
The Almond 3 also boasts a Wi-Fi-sensing feature that can trigger your rules whenever your device comes within Wi-Fi range. Securifi claims that this works much more reliably than GPS-based geofencing automations, and can reliably trigger automations whenever you leave and return home with your phone in your pocket.
The Almond 3 is expected to start selling in the US by this summer, along with Almond-compatible wireless smart buttons that promise a battery life of up to three years. We'll keep an eye all of it on it, and see if it merits a closer look in the CNET Smart Home.