ANNOYING ADVERT brandishing smart home provider Hive has finally announced the first fruits of its Honeycomb development platform.
Hive has had huge success with its smart thermostat product that has managed to keep toe-to-toe with Google's Nest, in no small part owing to an affiliation with British Gas, and has now announced a number of new products, heralding the promise of its open app building platform trailed last year.
First off the block are a door and window sensor and a smart plug. It's hardly revolutionary stuff, but Hive's policy has always been to 'drip feed' the market to avoid overloading the less tech-savvy.
The main news here is the company's confirmation that these products are the first to be built on Honeycomb, a bespoke platform yet to be revealed to the general public, which suggests that a launch can't be far away.
Once Honeycomb is available, Hive will be able to take its place in the Internet of Things framework, as APIs and development kits will allow it to 'talk' effectively to home hubs and third-party apps for the first time. This, despite being part of a deliberate strategy, has also represented an Achilles' heel for more advanced users wishing to get Hive interacting with other gadgets.
Hive was born from, and eventually took over, Alertme.com, a Cambridge-based early pioneer in the smart home. Once British Gas took over, however, most of the range was dropped as the company concentrated on heating.
Kassir Hussain, director of Centrica, said that the new range offers peace of mind for those 'did I leave the lights on?' days.
“We all fit a phenomenal amount into our daily lives, not least in the mornings which can be one of the most hectic times of the day. Gadgets and appliances are intended to make our lives easier, so the fact they’re slowing us down and afflicting us with niggling doubts is a problem,” he said.
But with other companies sprinting further and further ahead with their own offerings, the company won't want to wait too long before it releases Honeycomb into the wild or people will have already locked in to other systems, which is our own niggling doubt about the slow pace. In short, to paraphrase Austin Powers, "Oh Bee Hive!" µ
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