Kickstart Progress: Hive smart home

At Uptrends, our goal is to help our customers create a better internet. In our recurring blog series “Kickstart Progress,” we take a look at the latest and greatest crowd-funded technology products out there.

This week we’re taking a look at Hive, the home security, automation, and audio system from Salt Lake City, UT based company Hive Life.

Check out the Hive Kickstarter Campaign

Campaign Goal: $100,000

Campaign End Date: 3/15/15

What is Hive?

Hive is described as “the world’s simplest and most secure smart home system for everyone.” It allows you to remotely (and wirelessly) control aspects of your home, including: lights, electronics, locks, appliances, in-home security systems, and a series of proprietary wireless speakers.

The Hive system is a simplified, consumer-friendly derivative of the “Internet of Things”- a buzzword (pun intended) that you may have heard once or twice by now.
Basically, it means that Hive connects a series of smart internet-connected devices (such as appliances, and lights) to each other through a centralized application in an effort to improve user experience.

Competitors to Hive include more established players, including: Wink, Smartthings, SimpliSafe, and ADT Pulse – but the Kickstarter page for Hive promises that it will have additional flexibility and functionality.

What can Hive do?

The Hive system runs through the Hive mobile app, which will be available on iOS and Android devices. (No word on whether Windows Phone or Windows 10 will be supported.) The app empowers you to control and interact with your devices from one central location – sort of like a Queen Bee!

Hive Hub

The Hive Hub is a sleek pebble-like device that connects to any number of the ½ billion home security sensors currently supported, via Bluetooth, Z-wave, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee. When combined with the Hive mobile app, you always know what is going on in your home, from anywhere you have mobile/Wi-Fi connectivity.

It even has a built-in battery backup system to protect you against power outages (no word on for how long).

Hive Sound

Hive Sound is what you get when you combine the Hive mobile app with a wireless speaker/microphone system.
Battery powered, and mobile, Hive Sound can alert and send you audible notifications that involve your other Hive connected devices, and can be used to communicate with emergency responders if needed. It is possible to connect multiple Sound systems together to create a unique home audio experience that changes from room to room.

The device/app is currently compatible with the Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music, Songza, YouTube, iHeartRadio, tunein, and rdio mobile apps.

Our early thoughts on Hive

It isn’t easy to make home automation look attractive to non-geeks, but Hive seems to be on the right track. By combining a simple, yet attractive mobile application with a series of powerful, sleek, and modern looking devices, it doesn’t seem like a pipe dream to picture Hive gaining traction in the smart home market.

If its Kickstarter page is any indicator, it seems like the team over at Hive Life knows what it is up against. One of the biggest hurdles in the home automation/smart device market are the elusive communication standards – every company seems to have their own in place – but they already can connect with an incredible number of home security devices. And the team appears to want to work with their community to open up the Hive system and add more! That’s pretty groovy.

That being said, a lot of questions need to be answered. Neither the Kickstarter page nor the project website seem to have much in the way of a mobile app walkthrough, so we don’t know how easy it is to add, customize, and interact with your smart devices. We also do not know which other smart devices are currently compatible with the Hive system.

This can all likely be attributed to the system being early in the development cycle, but when it comes to buying into an idea every little bit of information counts!

What do you think of the Hive project?

Sound off in the comments below, or tweet @UptrendsMonitor to let us know!

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