As futuristic as it may still sound, syncing up your home’s appliances and controlling them with your mobile device is science fact, not science fiction. Several products are on the market, but a new one stands out because it not only links up your whole house, it works in unison with your existing automated systems.
In July, Revolv, a Colorado company incubated out of the startup accelerator TechStars, announced pre-sales for Smart Home Solution, which makes your entertainment system, wireless lighting, automated locks, and thermostat all accessible and controllable via your iPhone or iPad.
For a one-time fee of $299 you get a Wi-Fi hub and access to Revolv’s cloud service. You don’t need an ethernet cable to link up. Just take the hub home and plug it into an outlet. It automatically connects to your Wi-Fi network and discovers all the wireless gadgets you’ve already installed in your home. You can manually add extras, and then turn appliances on or off from your mobile device. Revolv is only available for Apple products, but Android compatibility is on the way.
So what can you do with your new toy? Automate daily routines, like turning on appliances at set times, or use the service’s GPS proximity and sensor triggers to automatically activate your devices. Revolv knows when you’re close to your home because it tracks your geo-radius to the house. But, for once, being tracked may actually help you: You can program relaxing music to play before you step through the door — or set the oven to pre-heat so you can get a jump-start on dinner.
You can also mix and match devices and brands, so don’t worry if you have different products, like Sonos wireless speakers or Belkin‘s WeMo home automation system. The only feature needed for a device to communicate with Revolv is wireless capability.
This functionality is what makes Revolv stand out from other home automation options already on the market. Many autonomous systems, while tying together appliances, don’t work together.
Mike Soucie, Revolv’s co-founder, says the idea was driven by peoples’ desire to have more control over their home, and the products in them. Soucie tells Mashable Revolv isn’t trying to make the hardware business obsolete. He says he wants to simplify things and bring the power of the web to everyday life, a term sometimes described as the “internet of things.”
“What’s been holding back the market so long is there hasn’t been a point product,” he says, referring to an automation device that can take the lead in both affordability and efficiency.
For Revolv to be successful, the functionality has to be simple, says Soucie.
“If it’s consumer-based it has to be easy to use from the out-of the-box setup,” he says.
Would you use a home automation system? How much would you pay?