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For millions of people, the internet of things and connected devices are a reality thanks to Sonos music systems, Philips Hue light bulbs or connected Dropcams. Realizing that these people might find it fun to connect their devices with one app instead of three (or more) and then start enabling them to work together, the Revolv team started building a hub for the connected home.
Think of it as an in-home If This Then That (IFTTT). The four founders, who started building Revolv as Mobiplug in 2012, thought that letting people build recipes and scenarios easily with their devices would be a winner. So you can use the Revolv app to turn on your lights and start playing your music when you unlock your connected door locks.
There’s a lot of opportunity for fun and being able to buy into a smarter home with a single hub, as opposed to buying a bunch of new devices or sensors, is a big win. That’s why the company’s newly launched hub device and app are part of our Product Showcase event at our upcoming Mobilize conference this week.
The Revolv hub launched the first week of August, and will start shipping this month. For $299, customers get a hub device that is completely wireless (no Ethernet, it still plugs in) and is capable of supporting several protocols. There’s also an app where all the interaction and recipe creation takes place. The company has thought about playing with a subscription model, but since other hub devices such as SmartThings and the upcoming Staples hub with Zonoff doesn’t have a subscription fee, they decided against it.
That helps distinguish it from other connected home products from the ISPs or even from the Lowes Iris system. With all of these products you buy a hub and an ecosystem of approved devices and then pay a fee based on what you want to do. As more and more connected devices launched, though, openness (and a quick ability to support new products with be the primary differentiators outside of cost.
Mike Soucie, a co-founder and head of sales and marketing with Revolv, told me in previous interviews that they wanted something that lets people use what they have and build from there. And whatever they built they knew it would have to be “dead simple” so consumers can set this up and start playing with it.