BRITISH GAS OFFSHOT Hive has announced its next-generation Home Hub as it continues to fight toe-to-toe with the likes of Google and Amazon.
The Hive Hub 360 adds an AI element, as it has the ability to listen for sounds around it. This can be used to detect, for example, if your dog is making a racket, an alarm (fire, CO2, burglar) has gone off, or a window has been smashed.
The noises are uploaded so you can listen to them in-app and decide whether doggo is protecting you from the postman or has got into the bins again and is goading the remains of last Sunday's roast.
Unlike previous Hive Hubs, the Hive Hub 360 is WiFi enabled so it can be put where it is most useful, not just where the router is.
It's designed to look all pretty and as a result and is available in either Black and Copper or White and Gold (and it looks suspiciously like an Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod).
The colour scheme is the same as the recently launched Hive View camera, and everything interlinks using Hive Actions which recently launched to make Hive devices work together better, though sadly support for other brands is almost zero.
The Hive Hub 360 is £99 to buy outright, making it a very reasonable upgrade from the £80 Hive Hub of old. Alternatively, it is available as part of ongoing rent-to-buy offers on a range of Hive products.
Hive is currently the biggest smart home company in the UK, driven by its sell-in of its smart thermostat to British Gas customers. As yet though, there's no sign on smart radiator valves for Hive, though we'd have thought they are coming.
Hive's ethos is around making smart home tech available to all and has rolled out products slowly and deliberately to allow the market time to get used to the new concepts that are still in part the domain of geeks. µ
It has been a long year's wait
Chill without the Netflix
Some would say that's a lot for watching YouTube cat videos
You can pre-order it today for £130