Hive Launch Active Plug, Motion Sensor And Hive Window Or Door Sensor To Boost Smarthome Range

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Hive, the British smart home technology start-up have become increasingly enconsoned in the home thanks to their Hive Active Heating thermostat. Smart thermostats, like the Google owned Nest – see our review of their third generation model here – have been the break-out genre within the $60B smart home market. Now Hive are adding a range of home controllers to their offering, which will now include their Hive Active Plug, Hive Motion Sensor and the Hive Window or Door Sensor.

These devices all play nicely via the Internet of Things, the slightly strangely named concept that all devices can be inter-connected via the internet. The internet, and its connectivity, gives the devices their brains, or in more modern parlance, makes them ‘smart’. If CES 2016 was anything to go by, soon every household item will need to be smart to get through your front door. So needless to say, all of these smart devices need controllers, and that my friends is where Hive come in. 

Hive Active Plug

Their new £39 ‘Hive Active Plug’ brings remote controller functionality to much more mundane items, like white goods, lights and other smaller appliances. The Hive Hub acts as the central nervous system of the whole solution, powering everything from the active plug – via the companion application for your smartphone – and other Hive products, like their heating system. This enables you to set 6 precise timing schedules, which can be used to pre-program these devices. Whilst in theory its great for table lights, in reality its not really much of a step forward from the humble timer switch, and leaves the company flagging behind some ‘smarter’ rivals. It is however an interesting step forward from Hive, who are proving to be one of the more progressive smart-home companies under the guidance of British Gas, in a space which is increasingly red hot. 

Hive window and door sensors

What we do like about Hive’s newly bolstered range, is their window and door sensors. At £29 a piece, they act as a wireless sensor which you can fit to any door or window frame, inside or outside the house. From garden sheds, to home windows to sweetie cupboards inside the house, you can effectively tag any movable door or window. When the door or window open, you get a notification straight to your phone. Edit: We recently covered the Hive Door and window sensors in much more detail in this piece.

Hive motion sensor

The window and door sensors are ably augmented by the Hive infrared motion detector, which can help tie together the movement of say a window, to movement in the house. This helps confirm or deny that there’s a security breach, and helps keep paranoia – a genuine concern with such devices – at bay. Whilst door and window sensors are increasingly a common part of many smart home starter packs, the Hive motion sensor is a little more advanced and brings a well considered additional element to smart home security systems. We have talked previously about how door/window sensors can cause red herrings, not least by causing an element of anxiety or even panic if an open window blows in a breeze. However the motion detector helps join the dots and thus helps ascertain if we really ought to be worried or not.

The Active Plug, The motion sensor and window/door sensors are connected by the ‘Hive Hub’

To use the Hive system, you’ll need to purchase the Hive Hub – it costs £80, meaning you then have the brains in place. Hive is really a very cost effective solution for a beginner smart home, as you can put together a solid home security system for under a few hundred pounds. You can view their products at hivehome.com, and the new products mentioned will begin shipping around 8th February. 

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