Hive by British Gas today announced an expansion into the smarthome, reaching beyond heating and hot water.
With an aim of connecting as many houses in the UK as possible, Hive has announced a full family of complimentary products, all of which can be controlled through an updated Hive app.
Hive Active Plugs
The new Hive Active Plugs are smart plugs that behave exactly as you'd expect them to. Like smart plugs from Belkin and others, these are plugs that you'll be able to control with your phone.
They will integrate with your Hive system, so you'll be able remotely turn those plugs on and off. The examples given by Hive included remotely controlled lights, perhaps to illuminate when you're on holiday, as well as being able to turn off your hair straighteners using your phone should you forget when you leave the house.
Hive Active Plugs will be available in Autumn 2015, pricing to be confirmed.
Hive Motion Sensors
With an eye on home monitoring, the Hive Motion Sensors are battery-powered, linking into your Hive system to alert you if movement is detected in your house, using a passive infrared system.
In isolation that might not be so useful, but there's plans in the future to have a Hive camera added to the system, so you could then see what that movement was. There's also the potential to create IFTTT-style recipes, so if motion is detected, a light could be turned on, for example, as well as an alert sent to your phone.
They will be available in Autumn 2015, pricing to be confirmed.
Hive Window and Door Sensors
Again with an eye on security and home monitoring, Hive is adding a frame sensor. It's battery-powered, so wire free, and links into your Hive system.
It can be placed on windows and doors so you know if something has been opened. This in turn can be used to trigger an action - as you could with the motion sensor - or send you an alert.
They will also be available in Autumn 2015, pricing to be confirmed.
Hive Active Lights
We've also been told that smart lights will be coming in the future, but that they're not ready for launch yet, so we haven't had a chance to see them in action.
We can't say whether these are going to be a full Philips Hue rivalling system, or just remotely operated lights. The availability is also listed for Autumn, so we expect to hear more soon.
New Hive app with rules and recipes
Central to the new announcements from Hive is the new app that will unlock the new features and support for the new family of products in one place. The new Hive app will control your heating and water as it currently does, but also give you access to the new products.
That means you'll only have one place to go for everything smart in your home. But the most exciting part is that the new app will support rules in an IFTTT style. That means you can set triggers and actions, for example turning on a light when a door is opened, or turning off the heating when there’s no movement in the house.
Hive will be expanding with support for more products in the future as it turns up the heat on smarthomes in the UK. Make sure you check out our full gallery of Hive's new smarthome products.