Red bricks: Alphabet to turn off Revolv’s lights

Revolv, the bright red smart home hub famous for its abundance of radio modules, has finally been declared dead by its founders. After a series of acquisitions, Google’s parent company Alphabet has gained control over Revolv’s cloud service – and they are shutting it down.

Customers who bought into Revolv’s vision of a truly connected and automated smart home hub featuring 7 different physical radio modules to connect all their devices will soon become owners of significantly less useful, red bricks due to the complete shutdown of the service on May 15, 2016.

image source: http://de.slideshare.net/Synack/internet-of-things-51400317
7 radios, 0 support. (Image source)

We did not expect this sudden death of a well-engineered hardware platform, although preceding the recently announced shutdown, Revolv devices have already been condemned to an early EOL, when Nest stopped selling them in late 2014, immediately after acquiring Revolv.

Each Revolv hub was purchased with a “lifetime subscription” to their online service. Nest, who bought Revolv for its development platform rather than for its product, may have found this service burdensome. They settled on a clarification, in which the term “lifetime” actually meant customers are advised to see a doctor the “lifetime of the product”.

Nest now offers individual solutions to Revolv owners, possibly partial refunds or discounts on Nest products, but Revolv customers will have a hard time figuring out what to do with their hardware. Many of those supposedly bricked hubs – packed with radios like Z-Wave, Insteon, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, 900 MHz, 433 MHz, and 915 MHz – may eventually end up on eBay for hackers to obtain for a fraction of their initial price tag of $299. Take the hint and listen to [Wesley Wineberg’s] DEF CON 23 talk. He says “If you can get your hands on one of these, it’s going to be a ton of fun”.


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