D-Link, Netgear Join CES Cloud Services Fray

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D-Link rival Netgear also stormed CES with clouds in its eyes, unveiling its Smart Network Cloud Application Platform, a platform that lets Netgear users buy and download apps from the cloud for their home network. Enabled through Netgear's latest routers, ReadyNAS storage devices, media players and upcoming products, the Smart Network gives users more control over connected devices, Netgear said, while also providing a platform for new applications in the cloud that let users customize their network capabilities.

The platform features apps across various categories, including games, tools and utilities, that let users manage connected home devices like Wi-Fi thermostats, printers and others and prompt them to perform tasks.

According to San Jose, Calif.-based Netgear, Smart Network Apps can be developed by anyone, from independent programmers to game developers, home appliance companies, utility companies and others. For example, utility companies can offer an app to let users monitor and lower energy usage, or internet service providers can create apps that enable content sharing to public Web sites.

Netgear also launched AppManager, a dashboard that lets users select and downloadable apps from Netgear's cloud. The dashboard features Netgear-built apps and apps from third-party vendors.

Netgear is also targeting developers, opening up the Smart Network Platform for developers to create apps. The Smart Network software development kit offers an XML API that interacts with Netgear network devices and other Smart Network applications. Netgear said it is accepting applications from developers to join the community via an early access program.

"Netgear's Smart Network Cloud Application Platform opens up a whole new world of possibilities for consumers everywhere. For the first time, consumers can use our dashboard to create a customized network experience that caters to their needs and desires," said Cedar Milazzo, Netgear senior director of engineering, in a statement. "Today's smart devices are only as smart as the networks they are connected to. Over the years, mobile phones have evolved into smartphones, and televisions have evolved into Smart TVs. Now Netgear is driving the evolution from home networks to Smart Networks. Netgear Smart Network will allow consumers to use innovative new applications to harness the power of all of their network devices and use those devices in new ways that meet customers' needs and that enable accessibility from anywhere."

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