Google’s Nest Labs acquired Revolv, a maker of Linux-based home automation devices, and announced five new Nest-compatible devices, including the Pebble.
After Google acquired Nest Labs in January for $3.2 billion, placing a stake in the fast-growing home automation business, Nest acquired home surveillance camera maker Dropcam in June for $555 million. Now Nest announced it has acquired another major home automation company in its purchase of Revolv. The acquisition, which was announced with no dollar amount, came shortly after the Boulder, Colo. based company announced compatibility with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect CO/smoke detector.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The deal brings an end of life to the Revolv home automation hub, which like the Nest devices and the Dropcam cameras run on embedded Linux. It appears the Revolv branding is disappearing too. The 10-person Revolv development staff will now focus on the Nest ecosystem, which just got bigger with the announcement of five new compatible products (see farther below).
Revolv was one of the earlier players in the new wave of mobile app enabled home automation hubs, starting out in 2012 under the name Mobiplug. The Revolv Hub supports a wide variety of third-party products and automation ecosystems. Presumably, most of these devices will join the “Works with Nest” program that spawned the five new partners below.
Revolv hubs will no longer be sold, but the product’s one-year warranty will continue to be supported, and tech support will continue. The Revolv team also promised that Revolv user data, like Nest data, will be kept away from the prying eyes of Google.
The $299 Revolv Hub was pricey by comparison to the newer lower cost hubs like the $49 Wink hub, but the ecosystem was extensive, much like SmartThings, another company that came up around the same time, and which was recently acquired by Samsung. Revolv compatible smart devices including Sonos music players, Philips Hue lights, Yale Real Living deadbolts, Belkin WeMo switches, Honeywell thermostats, Insteon sensors, GE smart switches, Leviton switches and controllers, and Schlage and Kwikset deadbolts.
Much of the functionality of the Revolv hub is built into the Nest Learning Thermometer, and it does not appear Nest will work on a new dedicated hub. “We are not fans of yet another hub that people should have to worry about,” Nest co-founder and VP of engineering Matt Rogers told Recode. “It’s a great team, an unbelievable team. There’s a certain amount of expertise in home wireless communications that doesn’t exist outside of these 10 people in the world.”
In July a Thread Group was formed by Nest, Samsung, Freescale, ARM, and others to standardize on a Nest-developed “Thread” wireless networking standard for home automation. Thread is based on 6LoWPAN wireless technology, and is designed to solve issues with what the group sees as out-of-date mesh networking standards like ZigBee and Z-Wave.
Five new devices “work with Nest”
The “Works with Nest” developer program announced earlier this year has spawned five new partners, whose products are compatible with the Nest products:
- Ivee — Announced originally as the Ivee Sleek, the Ivee device is a Linux-based, voice-activated home assistant that “lets you know when a Nest energy rush hour is about to start or finish,” according to Nest. The Ivee, which is equipped with a 4.3-inch display and looks and acts like a clock radio, can control a variety of third-party devices via voice. A Siri-like voice assistant answers basic questions about things like weather or stock prices.
- Life360 — This family-focused, mobile scheduling app will “let Nest know once everyone’s gone for the day so you don’t waste energy heating an empty home,” says Nest.
- Pebble — This popular smartwatch now lets you “change the temperature and set your Nest Thermostat to Home or Away,” says Nest.
- Rachio — The Rachio sprinkler controller controls sprinklers inside and outside of the house. “If Nest Protect senses smoke, the Rachio controller can automatically turn on sprinklers around the house,” says Nest.
- SNUPI Technologies — SNUPI’s WallyHome is a wireless sensor system that does things like detect leaks and mold. With the WallyHome, “your Nest Thermostat knows not to heat or cool an unused room,” says Nest.
More information on the Revolv acquisition and the new Works with Nest hardware partners may be found at the Nest Labs blog.