This is part of a series of articles that looks at entrepreneurs hoping to get their ideas off the ground through crowdfunding. At the time of writing, each of these innovations is currently seeking funding.
Getting a visitor onto the home’s wifi network usually involves reciting long strings of letters and numbers, and even then there often isn’t any way to control their access to shared files and devices. Currently seeking funding through Kickstarter, Pylon is a wall-mounted panel that simply requires guests to tap their phone to connect to the wifi, with restrictions set by the homeowner.
The system consists of a base station that connects both to an internet modem and the Pylon panel, which should be installed on a wall, ideally near the house entrance. The panel uses NFC technology so that when visitors tap their smartphones they are instantly logged onto the network without having to enter a password. The default settings give guests access to 30 minutes of wifi before they’re logged off, but homeowners can customize their settings for each user through the companion app. Each individual can be assigned a different setting, including the files and devices — such as computers, tablets and wifi-enabled stereos — they have access to. For example, in a party setting guests can temporarily add the music on their smartphone to the collective shared files used for entertainment. The video below explains the system in more detail:
The Pylon Kickstarter is offering the full product for as low as USD 85 until the campaign ends on 1 March. Although the Pylon is marketed for homeowners, it’s easy to see how the system could be adapted for businesses looking to more seamlessly offer wifi access to customers.