Home automation woes with british gas

hive-v1Efficient homes are a thing and professors new home is one. However efficient homes come with a small issue that if you did not install it then the people who can only support the closed source system assume you know it when clearly they do not know all the details

Commonwealth Games - Team Scotland Kitting Out - University of StirlingThis is a problem for british gas (now owned by shell) with hive which is a router to the phone and controls ‘things’.  Hive is scottish and indian supported to make things worse and professor got nowhere with them fast when he tried figuring out the thing with there help.

Professor is not a moron but it seems that ‘intelligent’ homes can also come with new idiot owners rather than the people who installed it which is something british gas do not think will happen.

So as homes change ownership/ and rental whatever there is problem for home automation systems.  If you where a landlord hive is apparently useless since there seems to be one login / password for the thing, should the renters not have broadband then hive is 50% disabled in features.   So extra admin and a dubious benefit to both persons.

Hives Intelligence is up for debate.  Somehow i think that there is a bigger problem here and one that this proprietary system* will have problems retaining new occupants as customers.  If your new to hive then the instructions dont tell you what is on the display, and if your missing something hive needs but it is something hive staff wont tell you need, or refuse to sell it which happened to  professor.

Months later Professor had a sixth attempt at getting the non working hive thing to work.  Somehow they where more clued in than the other five attempts and obtained the missing things.

rawplugIt was claimed to be user installable. Assured by the salesman that this is the missing thing  a package arrives prof is sightly amazed that this is called user installable, rawplugs (not supplied) are needed, a screwdriver too, and maybe some paint.  All of which professor has. It was an interesting observation on the average toolkit here in the UK.

The electronic part was less successful than the mounting requiring phone support and hard resets for the existing infrastructure to work. However better instructions would have helped but where copiously missing.

Hive is odd (hosted at amazon ec2), and quite why data goes overseas and at the mercy of amazon is another dubious design feature and offers some basic choices and there be some strange missing features like you cannot buy a carbon monoxide detector that works with hive,  lighting and electrical has some control but need the right bulbs (my blog) the bonus stuff  seems to be for extraordinary use cases.

Hive at present (the version 2) seems ready for stuff not yet thought about so it is neither burglar alarm ‘smart’ which based on the complexity would be beyond british gas abilities especially when non installers are part of the deal.

scarecrowBasic hive works provided you have all the things although its very much designed for the app and lets hope you have a better experience than professor did, but to call hive a automation platform is perhaps a  management goal  at british gas rather than a true platform for switching and sensing stuff in fact it is still an idiot seeking a brain.

*Think rogue IOT and awful bloated software

One response

  1. Pingback: Logictech does a sony with it’s ” harmony ” controller | Bananas in the Falklands

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