(Pocket-lint) - Hive, the Centrica-owned smart home company, has announced a new hub: the Hive Hub 360.

The new Hub 360 takes the Hive system forward a step, moving beyond the straight-forward connectivity offered by the original Hubs and playing a more central role in your smart home.

The new Hub has been designed to be seen, with a cylindrical form that will sit in your house in a more prominent manner. It is now wireless, connected via your home Wi-Fi, so there's no need to connect it to an Ethernet port on the back of your router.

While the Hub 360 will handle the connectivity of your wider Hive devices, the new Hub also has a role in security. It offers 360-degree audio detection, so you can put it in the centre of your home and it will alert you to noises via the Hive app.

That might be your dog barking, or it might be the sound of someone smashing your back doors in. It could also alert you to your smoke detectors going off, with all sounds recorded so they can be played back via the app. 

It also works with Hive's new Actions. That will mean that you can create customs actions when the Hub hears something. That might be that it turns on your lights - which is useful for security, as well as being practical for home automation - it could turn on the lights when it hears you open the front door for example.

The new Hive Hub 360 will be available as a standalone upgrade in the UK for £99. We will bring you a full review of the new Hub 360 has soon as we can get our hands on one.

Writing by Chris Hall.