Centrica Hive Limited is a company that produces smart home devices. It is a big player in the UK, with more than a million customers as of spring of 2018, and it continues to grow. ‘Hive’ is its primary trademark product.
The Hive app and website allows customers to control their smart devices from a central hub, linking everything together into one control centre. Lights, plugs, thermostats, appliances, windows – any smart device in your home or office – can be controlled from the Hive app, giving you full access and control from anywhere you have internet access.
The ability for the company to integrate systems using their app and site was actually enabled by British Gas, starting in 2011, through their own efforts to explore the use of smart technologies for the control of heating equipment. The product AlertMe, and the subsequent launch of the Remote Control Heating Service in 2012, opened the door for the Hive system, which has since taken a large share of the market.
Hive isn’t completely separate from British Gas, however, as it was established by Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, created a sector called Connected Homes, in 2012. It was only the next year that Hive Active Heating was launched. The system is installed in each home by British Gas engineers.
British Gas eventually purchased the AlertMe firm for £65 million, and Hive could then start using AlertMe’s Honeycomb platform, allowing control through the app. From that point onward, Hive could be competitive with companies and products such as HomeKit, Project Brillo, and Nest Labs.
The second generation of their system, the Hive Active Heating 2, was released in 2015. It includes additional features such as the Holiday Mode, which allows the temporary suspension of usual settings to conserve energy while occupants are away, and the Boost function, which overrides usual settings to allow for additional heating and hot water production for up to six hours from activation.