Revolv brings multiple home automation devices together
By Heidi Hoopes
December 12, 2013
Once you start automating your home with electronic locks, lights, switches, and other components, the number of apps on your phone can multiply very quickly. Worse, it seems like you should be able to easily link their behavior together yet can’t. After all, if you want the lights to turn off when you leave the house, shouldn’t the thermostat also turn down? The Revolv home automation system and associated smart phone app aim to simplify things with one centralized control hub that promises easy setup, no additional support fees, and an evolving lineup of supported devices and features.
Using Revolv is designed to be simple. Once plugged into a central location for optimal Wi-Fi coverage, the unit automatically adds supported devices from the home network, while others need to be added manually via a walkthrough on the Revolv app.
The unit boasts seven wireless radios supporting ten different wireless protocols, with Insteon, Wi-Fi, and Z-Wave currently covered, and more including ZigBee to be rolled out later. What it doesn’t require is an Ethernet connection, creating an account, or monthly fees, with the system registering your phone simply by using the phone’s flash. Only iOS devices are currently supported, but Android, Windows Phone and others will follow.
Once devices are enabled, the fun begins. You can design different home "scenarios," such as coming home, vacation, relaxation, movie night, or bedtime, with rules being triggered by the phone’s proximity, motion sensors, or based on time. Currently the GeoSense proximity trigger is only enabled for one phone, though this will be updated early next year. However, multiple phones can control a Revolv system.
The company is also working on more complex conditional rules, as might apply in households where not everyone has a smartphone. Also planned is a feature that recognizes when people are still at home, despite the GeoSense-linked user leaving the house with their phone.
Belkin WeMo light switches and electrical outlets, Philips Hue and Insteon lightbulbs, Kwikset and Yale locks, and wireless speakers from Sonos are just a few of the devices currently supported, with a full list that is being regularly updated found on Revolv’s website.
The Revolv system is currently available for US$299.
If you’ve started to automate your home, what would you do with Revolv? Let us know in the comments.
Below is Revolv’s video pitching the “sexiness” of home automation.