The smart home concept is booming with Apple launching a new system for linking all of the devices together into HomeKit and Google with their own system, one of the most popular devices is the smart thermostat. Countless companies have created devices such as Honeywell Nest, Tado and more as well as Hive, by British Gas. Back in 2013, Hive launched its first smart thermostat and after 200,000 installs Hive 2 was needed.
With this iteration, the design of the device is stunning – with a full glass screen, with rounded corners. From the press shots it looks to be a high quality device and with this version, Hive wanted to make other devices for the rest of the home, such as plugs and motion sensors.
So, the Hive 2. At the basic functionality does very much the same as the first one allowing you to control the heating in the home, water temperature and use the app on your phone to control it. The Hive 2 doesn’t have a touchscreen, but instead a row of three buttons as well as the dial to control the temperature. Users can use the buttons to set the temperature, set the zones and enter the holiday mode. The Hive 2 doesn’t have a motion sensor built in like the Nest. The reason the design of the Hive 2 is so striking is that fact that Hive partnered with Yves Béhar to design the thermostat. He created the Jawbone Jambox, the OUYA, August smart door lock as well as a lot of other devices.
“The Hive 2 comes from out restless desire to create something that is even better. To that end, we partnered with Yves Béhar to look at the thermostat again and rebuild it from the ground up.” Kaiser Hussain, Director of Connected Homes at British Gas.
Along with the slick looking design of the device, Hive have partnered with Dulux to create different coloured frames for the device, which looks more like a phone case. They come in twelve colours which are from th most popular wall colours – including Moroccan Flame (orange), Urban Obsession (grey) and Teal Tension.
It isn’t just thermostats that Hive are making, the company is also working on other devices for the home such as motion sensors and lightbulbs. One of those devices is the Hive Motion Sensor which is a small cube with infrared sensors inside to detect movement. If any activity is detected it’ll alert your phone. More devices were unveiled such as the Hive Window Sensor and Hive Door Sensor. These devices sit inside the window to detect any movement on the windows or doors. A small plastic devices sits by sill or frame and then will alert you if any movement is detected. The Hive Active Plug is very similar to the offering from Belkin. The plugs will let you control any devices which are plugged in around the home. Lastly, the Active Lights which are very similar to Phillips Hue. So far, the design is being finished off but it is very likely that they will work in the same way as Hue.
Pricing and availability
So far, only the Hive 2 is available with the sensors and plugs coming later in the year in autumn. Existing Hive customers will be able to pick up the Hive 2 as an upgrade for £99, but new customers will have to pay £249 for the device. But come August this price will apply to new and existing customers. The Hive 2 will be on sale at Amazon, Curry’s, PC World, Apple Store, Argos John Lewis and the Hive website.
“Until now, the connected home has been the preserve of two groups of people: you’re either pretty wealthy and you have a high-end home, or you’re pretty geeky and tech literate and you’ve strung this stuff together,” says Hussain. “Actually, most people don’t fall into those categories. We’re on a mission to make the connected home an absolute reality for as many British homes as we possibly can.” – Hive