Hive from British Gas has made a sweeping run of announcements today, including Active Heating 2 with a new smart thermostat and a full family of smarthome products, designed to make every home connected.
One of the things that hasn't been announced is a connected camera, even though it features centrally in Hive's vision of a connected home. We were introduced to Hive's new products in the Somo-created demo house in London, and the camera was central to the demo, despite not being on the list of announcements.
With the likes of Google adding Nest Cam just recently, that seems like something of an oversight. Well the official line is that Hive is working on a camera and that it will be coming in the future: it's just not quite ready yet.
However, in the demo we witnessed, Hive used a Samsung camera. Hive told us that it didn't take much to get the Samsung camera to work with the Hive system and that was one of the aims of the future: to offer support for third-party products.
Hive's smarthome platform is appropriately called Honeycomb, and the aim is to be able to offer integration with other products, so you can use, for example, that Samsung camera, rather than being forced to by the dedicated Hive camera.
Exactly how far this integration will go remains to be seen, but Hive's message seemed clear: that it wants to make it as easy as possible for people to get themselves set-up with a connected smarthome.
The latest round of announcements add a lot of options to Hive's system, but we were repeatedly told that there's more coming. One example is the smart button. In the demo, this was used to put the house into night mode with a single button press, but like the smart camera, it's not amongst the announcements that Hive has made public today.
Hive is no longer just about heating, it's aiming to to be a central player in smarthomes of the future and you can expect a lot more from British Gas soon.