Hive has relaunched its smart home hub, with a focus on design and some nifty new features. The Hive Hub 360 replaces the older Hive Hub, taking control of your Hive bulbs, smart thermostat, connected plugs and sensors, making the whole system work together.
So what’s new? Well, firstly the Hive Hub 360 has a pretty swish new design. Yves Béhar, legendary tech designer that’s been involved in the Hive View and thermostat, hasn’t been involved this time around, but it certainly speaks from the same design language. The $139 Hive Hub 360, which is available to buy now, would look at home on any shelf, and comes in black/copper and white/gold – just like the stylish Hive View security camera.
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Very few hubs have been treated to this level of design – mostly because they just sit plugged into your router, but Hive has decided to cut the cord. The Hive Hub 360 connects to your router via Wi-Fi, so you can place it anywhere in the home – like a techy ornament.
And there’s good reason for this, too. The Hive Hub 360 features a built-in microphone, that listens out for events in the home. Glass breaking, dogs barking, a smoke alarm going off – it’s trained to listen, recognise and then alert you via your smart home or trigger one of Hive's new Actions.
Hive is a system that’s designed to appeal to the average home user – and it always keeps the tech features to a minimum. The thermostat, for example, features minimal geofencing, zero learning, and there’s no radiator controls. It keeps things simple.
But likewise, there’s so much the Hive Hub 360 could have done – yet doesn’t. There’s no mention of creating a mesh network in your home to boost Wi-Fi coverage, for example. And despite being underpinned by the Zigbee protocol, it’s not ready to act as a hub for non-Hive devices. It's also a little odd to include a microphone but no built-in voice control. The company is still playing within its ecosystem – and it’s not planning to open up quite yet.