Nest acquires Revolv and immediately stops sales of one of the top smart-home hubs
By Michael Brown, Executive Editor, TechHiveOct 24, 2014 3:00 pm PDT
So you bought a Revolv smart hub to manage your smart home. You obviously recognized a well-designed product. The only problem now is that Nest Labs saw the same potential. The folks who designed the world’s most famous thermostat, since gobbled up by Google, have swallowed Revolv—and immediately stopped sales.
I was a bit gobsmacked when I saw the Revolv smart-home hub at CES last January. With this one device and a smartphone app, you could control just about any smart system in your home. The odd-looking device could control your home lighting, your door locks, and your programmable thermostat, but it could also speak to your Sonos mutli-room audio system.
The Revolv was able to do this because it was outfitted with enough radios to choke a horse. It connected to Wi-Fi, it spoke Z-Wave, and you could even program it using the IFTTT service. One of the few things it didn’t have—Zigbee support—was in the works. Unfortunately, all the silicon to pull off that feat drove the price of the Revolv to a place many consumers weren’t willing to go.
Building a consumer device that could do all that, and creating a smartphone app that made it all easy to understand, is a daunting task. A task the Revolv team excelled at. Nest Labs saw the potential and snapped up those human resources for its own purposes, but selling just a hub is apparently not part of its game plan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but I hope the folks at Revolv were well rewarded for their efforts.
If you purchased a Revolv hub, a statement on the company’s website indicates that service will continue for existing customers, but that no new Revolv hubs will be sold. The one-year warranty on existing products will also be honored, and customer support will continue to be available. Perhaps most importantly, any data collected by Revolv systems will remain subject to the Revolv privacy statement and—like Nest data—will be kept separate from Google.
The good news for smart-home enthusiasts is that deals like this prove the smart-home market is poised for tremendous growth. The connected home is no longer a fringe pursuit for propeller heads; it’s about to go mainstream.
Michael is TechHive's lead editor, with 30+ years of experience covering the tech industry, focusing on the smart home, home audio, and home theater. He built his own smart home in 2007 and used it as a real-world test lab for product reviews. Following a relocation to the Pacific Northwest, he is now converting his new home, an 1890 Victorian bungalow, into a modern smart home.