The Revolv Hub Shutdown
There seems to be a fair amount of legitimate concern over cloud-based solutions that are tied to physical products. A case in point is the Revolv Hub. It was announced earlier this week that the web service that supports the hardware will be going away next month leaving those who bought a Revolv Hub with a $300 brick. The developer Revolv was acquired by Google which is Nest, a part of Alphabet. The hub from Nest controls a wide variety of home automation gadgets, sensors, and switches, which will not function as advertised without a connected hub.
This sounds like something that would put a damper on the Internet of Things, or will it? It’s not unusual for hardware to become outdated but that usually takes years, not the 18 months or so since the Revolv Hub became available. This was too short lived and the company should have had a contingency plan in place rather than sticking it to their customers in this way. This problem affects the Hub, not the individual gadgets and sensors you invested in. There are other solutions. But this does taint the trust one has in cloud services, especially those tied to a physical product you have to buy in order to participate in the Internet of Things. Without the cloud service, your smartphone can’t communicate with your smart home devices, or can it?
Nest’s open APIs allows interested third party developers to build integration with Nest products through the Works with Nest developer program. But many feel this is a way for Nest to put off the solution on to others.
This is a relatively new area of technology and like any new advancement early adopters run the risk of being abandoned. Remember the Newton, Apple’s cutting edge handheld computer? I joined that club and it hurt when it suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth.
The Internet of Things is not just about having cool gadgets that automate your home. They help conserve energy which provides real energy cost savings and reduces one’s carbon footprint. Environmentally speaking, a smart home is good for the planet. This is an unfortunate setback but not the end of the Internet of Things. A solution that uses WiFi in addition to cloud services should get around this. I’m confident the industry will take note of this unfortunate turn of events and provide alternate methods to connect to your smart home devices from your smartphone. This market will live or die by reliable connectivity to control our future smart homes. I will keep the faith that a solution will be forthcoming, if not for Revolv then surely for the market on the whole. The potential for smarthome technology is huge.