The latest smart home tech products
Love it or loathe it, technology is taking over our daily lives. From home assistants to your very own robot maid, we’ve rounded up our favourite smart home devices on the market.
You’ve probably seen at least one of their catchy adverts, but you might not know exactly what Hive is or does. The clever thermostat, created as a spin-off from British Gas, has burst onto the UK market ahead of other similar devices such as the Google-owned Nest, and is now setting its sights on making its way to the US.
Hive has grown to be much more than a simple connected thermostat, now boasting a full smart home platform that can control anything from bulbs to cameras. Here’s a bit more info on how it all works.
What is Hive?
At its core, Hive is a smart home platform that offers way more than just a thermostat. Hive comes with its very own hub, which is the basis of the entire platform. All you need to do is connect the hub to your router and it will go on to work with all other Hive devices, as well as allowing remote access via a smartphone app that you can control from anywhere in the world.
Your thermostat, bulbs, camera, door sensors and plugs all come under the umbrella of devices that you can control with your Hive hub. Once you’ve downloaded and set up the Hive smartphone app, you’ll be able to set temperatures, schedules, rules and alerts that make everyday life more efficient, which can sometimes help to lower your utility bills.
Can you use other devices with Hive?
Hive uses its own Honeycomb platform, meaning that it’s mostly a closed system. You can't usually add other company's plugs and bulbs into the Hive app, though they have recently announced that you can add Philips Hue bulbs into the mix.
Fortunately, for those with virtual helpers, Hive works well with Alexa and Google Home. This allows you to lump together Hive products with your other devices, using them as the overriding controller. Doing this means you’re able to get all of the benefits of Hive without being locked in.
What products does Hive offer?
One of the most expensive products the brand currently has on the market is the eye-catching Hive Active Heating system. The thermostat can be either wall mounted or moved around, interacting with a sensor placed on the boiler. Its primary use is to give you thermostatic control of your home’s heat, enabling you to set target temperatures and turn the heating on or off wherever you are. Setting a schedule is a great way to ensure a cosy home at all times, as well as automatic shut-off when the ambient temperature meets a preset level.
If you’re looking for some smart bulbs, Hive Active Lights are available to buy in several different colours. Controlled via the Hive app, you’re able to set brightness and hue from within the Honeycomb – the platform that controls all of the Hive devices. You can pair the bulbs to work with actions such as your doors opening or closing, and they also work within Routines and Groups, which means they can be paired up with other types of bulbs. You can pick up both screw-fit and bayonet types, making them ideal for most rooms.
Another great device that Hive offers is the Hive View. This is a 1080p smart video camera which can be remotely accessed via an app. Hive View can also be detached for up to an hour of wireless video, so you can keep a close eye on other areas of your home when you’re out. From keeping an eye out for intruders, to talking to the household pet whilst on holiday, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without home video technology.