Amid a veritable sea of competing smart home technologies, Revolv stands out as one of the few unifying solutions with a chance at success. The concept is simple: The Colorado startup’s WiFi-connected home automation hub bridges your local network and an intuitive smartphone app that lets you control all your “connected” appliances and smart devices.
Though it went up for preorder in early August, the product has just begun shipping to early adopters. The $299 device is currently compatible with an array of more than 20 light bulbs, locks, thermostats, home theater components, outlets, motion sensors, and wall switches/dimmers—including popular items like Yale electronic locks, Philips Hue bulbs, the Nest thermostat, and the Sonos Playbar.
Aside from acting like a remote control for all these devices, Revolv can be used to set up rules that control how your home behaves, depending on time of day or your location. For example, you can set up the system to turn on the lights, turn up the heat, and power on your stereo when you arrive home after work. The system simply recognizes your GPS location and sends separate commands to each device.
There are a few down-sides, though. For one thing, the app is currently only available on iOS devices, so Android and Windows Phone users are forced to sit on the sidelines for the time being. More frustratingly, the control you can exercise via the Revolv app can vary drastically from one device to another. Early reports suggest that—at least at this early stage—you’ll frequently need to switch back to native apps to make more complicated adjustments, like selecting a source on your Sonos receiver.
The company plans to both expand the hub’s device compatibility and deepen its level of control, but for the time being, the things you can do with Revolv are actually pretty limited—and you’ll need a house full of the latest gadgets to get real use out of it.
And while Revolv looks like a promising solution for those living on the cutting edge of home automation tech, we should also mention that it’s not the only game in town. Staples recently revealed its Staples Connect service, which can do many of the same things. It’ll hit the consumer space later this month, severely undercutting the Revolv hub with a $99 price tag.
We’re looking to get the Revolv automation hub into the Reviewed.com labs soon, so keep an eye out for future reports. But if you’re already sold, you can pick up the device at Revolv.com or Amazon.com right away.