Skipper

Hive Turns up the Heat as it Moves into the Wider Connected Home Space

David Murphy

HiveBritish Gas’ Hive brand has unveiled a range of new features for its Hive Active Heating system, as well as a family of complementary products that move Hive beyond heating and into the wider connected home space. The new products include Hive Active Plugs; HiveMotion Sensors; Hive Window and Door Sensors; and Hive Active Lights.

Hive Active Heating launched in 2013 to enable people to control their heating and hot water from their mobile, tablet or laptop. Over 200,000 people are already using the solution, which is installed free of charge for British Gas customers, though you don’t need to be a British Gas customer to buy it.

The updated version goes by the name of Hive Active Heating 2. It includes a new
thermostat, designed by Jawbone designer, Yves Béhar. It offers a heating boost for up to six hours (the original version could only boost the hot water). It also comes with more heating and hot water schedule flexibility; a Holiday Mode setting; and multizone compatibility, to enable the user to have two heating and hot water zones for two parts of the house, if the plumbing is in place for it.

Existing Hive Active Heating customers will be able to access the new features via an updated version of the app and online dashboard, while customers buying Hive Active Heating 2 from today can also access them on the new thermostat as well. The new thermos costs £249, or is available as a £99 upgrade to existing Hive customers.

The complementary products, due for release in the autumn, are built on the Honeycomb platform, which British Gas acquired when it purchased AlertMe in February this year, and integrate seamlessly with the Hive hub and app. The platform is designed to be open and scalable to enable future integration with partners and developers.

Hive Active Plugs let the user control appliances remotely via the Hive app, allowing them to switch devices on and off from wherever you are, and set schedules. For example, a lamp plugged into a Hive Active Plug could be switched on and off remotely via the Hive app when on holiday, to give the impression that someone is at home.

Hive Motion Sensors detect motion in the house when the owner is not there. For those times when the home is empty, such as when the owner is away on holiday, they will get an alert to their phone if motion is detected.

Hive Window and Door Sensors are wireless contact sensors which can be fitted to windows and doors and will notify the owner if they are open or closed. Finally, Hive Active Lights will, give Hive users the ability to turn lights on or off in their home remotely via the app.

“In addition to the beautifully redesigned HiveActive Heating thermostat and new range of app features, we’ve created a family of connected home products that are easy to use, accessible for everyone, and genuinely make life easier,” said Kassir Hussain, director of British Gas connected homes. “We’re the only UK provider to deliver the complete connected home end-to-end experience – from ownership of the platform to product creation, installation and on-going support. We’re excited to be expanding our portfolio and making the connected home at last a reality for everyone.

“This is only the beginning. We’re already working to give our customers even more ways to customise how they control their homes with Hive so they can create personalised ‘recipes’ to fit with their lifestyles. We’re starting by adding our own products to the Honeycomb platform, as we open it up we’ll work with a number of trusted brands and partners too. Expect further announcements on this over the coming months.”