We recently talked about the launch of the Hive door and window sensors in this news piece, which has got many of our readers excited about the innovations coming out of the British Gas initiative. This goes along with our review of their ‘active heating’ solution, covered here and the fact that Hive products made it on to our ‘who’s who’ list of the best smart home products of 2016 so far.
What is ‘Hive’?
Hive is a company owned and operated by British Gas. You can learn more here on the official British Gas website, but the main proposition that made Hive ‘famous’ is their Active Heating product. This product is frequently compared to Nest, the Google owned main alternative to British consumers. We reviewed the latest third generation of Nest here.
Hive have recently extended their range, bringing out a whole raft of other smart home tools, including their ‘Hive door sensors’, with a sister offering that also works on your windows.
What are the Hive Door Sensors?
As the name would suggest, the Hive door sensors attach to your doors and provide an alert – straight to your smartphone, whenever any unexpected movement occurs. You can read more on the official Hive shop page for their door sensors here.
The door sensors are part of their wider package which includes the Hive window sensors and the Hive motion sensor – all of which are intended to play nicely together and to provide a fully functional smart home security system.
How do the Hive door and window sensors work?
One of the main benefits of Hive in our opinion is their ease of use allied with nice design. The Hive Active heating solution for example is perhaps the most elegant looking smart thermostat on the market, beating Nest hands down.
So on the ease of use side of things, the Hive door sensors and their window sensor cousins are both very easy to use.
You simply peel back an adhesive layer, and attach them to the seal of either the window or door. The seal is the bit that touches when the door or window is closed, but which also separates as the door or window opens. Therefore breaking the seal will trigger the system to inform you that the door has opened.
This then ties in with the Hive app, available across Android, Amazon and iOS. When there is movement from a door or window moving, then the app will inform you. You can then use that information to work out whether its a legitimate movement (e.g. partner coming home from work) a partially legitimate or at least not illegal movement (like your child playing truant from school) or a bad news situation. The latter is of course the aim here, although clearly the technology has use cases that ca help avoid truancy at schools.
What’s the point of Hive Door sensors, considering it won’t stop a break in nor help catch the culprit?
This is a valid question, and it poses a second: Do systems like Hive just make you paranoid? This is another legitimate question, and one that does need some analysis.
If your smartphone is constantly altering you to movement, as can certainly be the case with some other smart security systems, then you could be sat at work or on holiday in a mild state of panic and with severe anxiety. Nobody likes to think of their home being broken into after all. So what is the true upside to products like Hive, which do little more than warn you after the event? They don’t stop the event itself, so is this useless data?
Well clearly its not. Having the precise time that a break-in occurs can certainly help trace the culprit. Also, when it comes to the Hive door sensors especially, there should be very little chance of false warnings firing off. The Hive Window sensors are a little different, as windows could be left open and could blow in the wind, but as a rule of thumb, we have not seen false alarms with these products.
The real upside comes with pairing them to a smart security camera, which can capture the faces of anyone who breaks in. We really like the new LG solution as reviewed here, as their smart security hub analyses a full 360 degree field of vision. When you pair these sorts of products together, then you really see the power of an Internet of Things (IoT) connected home.
Ready to buy?
The Hive door and window sensors are currently available at £29 on the official Hive site