Automated homes are nothing new. For decades, people have toiled over connecting household object to intranets and servers in a desperate attempt to simplify lives. But the work rarely justified the results. Then came the so-called Internet of Things. Nest, Sonos, Hue, Yale Locks; all these products eliminated the need for a Ph.D in geekery. Just remove the item from the swanky packaging, follow the instructions and install the smartphone app and voila, a smart device.
Enter Revolv. This $299 device connects all these smart devices, effectively making a unified smart home. This might be the quintessential first world problem, but as smart devices grow in popularity, there will increase a need for a device to make everything run together. And the Revolv does just that. It’s the missing link in today’s Internet of Things.
In my house, I have several smart devices: A Nest Thermostat, WeMo outlets and a Kwikset deadbolt. All these items previously operated independently of each other. They didn’t know they existed within the same house. The Nest couldn’t talk to the Kwikset lock. The Kwikset couldn’t tell the Nest to fire up the furnace when the front door is unlocked.
The complication can get more troublesome in houses with Sonos systems, Philips Hue lights, and Insteon and GE smart systems. All of these items require a separate app to control their functions. The Revolv not only consolidates control to a central app, but allows for all sorts of macros and pre-programmed functions.
The smart actions allows owners to group logical functions together. Using location sensing, when the owner is, say, 100 yards away from home, the Revolv can lock your front door, turn down the heat, and turn on a Sonos system to give the dog some background music. Or, alternatively, when the owner is within 100 yards of his home, the Revolv can unlock the front door, turn up the heat and kick on the Sonos.
Combined with Belkin WeMo remote outlets and Philip Hue lights, the possibilities are nearly endless. The Revolv could turn on a candle warmer and foot bath, dim the lights and tune into your Fleet Foxes station for a relaxing evening at home.
Setup was surprisingly trivial. Plug the Revolv into power, install the app, and follow the on-screen instructions. Some devices automatically connect to the Revolv. Others require manual syncing. I had to hit a couple small buttons on the backside of my Kiwkset lock.
The device is not without flaws. The Revolv’s current logic doesn’t recognize multiple smartphones. If I happen to leave the geofenced areas, the Revolv doesn’t know that my wife happens to still be in the house and doesn’t want the temperature to drop to 62 degrees. But those are trivial annoyances in an otherwise fantastic device.
If you own multiple smart devices that you control through a smartphone, buy the Revolv. Its novelty alone makes it worth the cost of admission. Upon installation, a lightbulb will go off over your head as you realize this was the device missing from your home. It combines all your devices into universe. It’s akin to the formation of The Avengers. Separate, all your devices are like superheros that can stand their own. Together they can take on thousands of aliens dumping out of a wormhole in the sky.