SMART THERMOSTAT FIRM Nest has decided to pull the plug on its Revolv smart home hub subsidiary, leaving buyers with a router that can’t route anything.
Revolv’s main product was a smart hub used to control things like connected lights, doors and alarms. But when it was bought by Google and merged with Nest in 2014, the search company immediately halted sales of the hub.
Google's ambition was to get Revolv’s smart home smarts into Nest. But Revolv’s smart hub users, of which there were a few, didn’t expect their £200 product to be disabled just two years later, turning it from the centre of a smart home into an expensive paperweight.
The company’s co-founders said in a letter on Revolv’s website that they are concentrating on making a smart home platform called Works with Nest.
“Works with Nest is turning into something more secure, more useful and just flat-out better than anything Revolv created,” they wrote.
"So we’re pouring all our energy into Works with Nest and are incredibly excited about what we’re making. Unfortunately, that means we can’t allocate resources to Revolv anymore and we have to shut down the service.”
So owners of the Revolv router will be royally screwed on 15 May, as rather than simply discontinue support for the product Nest will effectively deactivate the router and delete all data for it.
We’re not expecting this to cause smart lights to go from dim to disco, or speaker systems to blast out Never Gonna Give You Up, but it basically borks the smart home functionality of anyone relying on the Revolve hub.
Committed Revolv owners have understandably reacted badly to the news. The excellently named Arlo Gilbert took to opinion site Medium to voice his annoyance.
“Google is intentionally bricking hardware that I own. They don’t even dance around it. That’s a pretty blatant 'fuck you' to every person who trusted in them and bought their hardware,” he wrote.
Gilbert noted that he can use a replacement hub from Samsung to act as the heart of his smart home, but was still pretty pissed off as Google's move raises the possibility of the firm bricking other old products like Nexus and Chromecast devices.
No warranty was offered for the hub, and this comes at a time when various recent screw-ups with Nest thermostats have not exactly showed the Google-owned firm in its best light. µ
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