April 6, 2016
Nest recently announced that they will shutdown the cloud service that runs Revolv. While the company framed this shut down as a stepping stone on the greater path to a connected home, the immediate reality is that homes which are currently made ‘smart’ with Revolv hardware will revert back to being ‘dumb.’
Nest Labs is a leading manufacturer in the Smart Home market. They make some of the most popular smart thermostats, smoke detectors and security cameras available today, and are owned by tech giant, Google (Alphabet). Nest’s kiss of death for Revolv demonstrates a glimpse into yet another issue with the codependence of software and hardware in the Smart Home. Since Revolv hubs, like many other connected devices, are controlled through the cloud, the devices will be rendered useless when Nest discontinues the software.
Killing Revolv’s cloud will leave consumers with an expensive paper weight, or an empty container of Hummus as Arlo Gilbert so eloquently argued in this post. Nest’s actions throw IoT down a rabbit hole, demonstrating that companies have the power devalue your $300 gadget. An article in Wired argues that Nest’s decision proves we “can’t rely on ‘Internet of Things,'” since it makes 18 month old hubs obsolete. That’s one expensive container of hummus, so what’s the point of investing in a device that the manufacturer could render useless once they develop the next generation?
While Nest’s decision to shut down Revolv will obviously effect the Smart Home market, our consumer data shows nothing but discontent with Revolv products. Delight for the Revolv hub has been falling since the acquisition, while delight for Nest devices climbs.
While some Revolv fans will miss their hubs, Nest is using this as an opportunity to grow and promote their Works With Nest initiative. As a response to inquiries about opening up Revolv development to third parties, Nest responded by saying: “Revolv was a great first step toward the connected home, but we believe that Works with Nest is a better solution and are allocating resources toward that program.”
Nest had to trim some fat to focus their greater Smart Home efforts. Revolv was a casualty in the ongoing battle of the Smart Home Ecosystem (which, by the way, Amazon is currently dominating over Apple and Nest, read about that here).
Will this decision make consumers think twice about purchasing more Nest hardware? We are continuously monitoring the entire Smart Home market, you can subscribe to our free weekly Smart Home updates, or monitor Smart Home brands, retail, and feature trends monthly with our Fit Kits.