Smarting from bad publicity over the decision to kill off Revolv hubs in mid-May, Nest has quietly begun offering an olive branch to owners of the death row hardware. The Alphabet-owned smart home team prompted IoT ire this week, when it became more widely realized that as of May 15 users of the Revolv system – which Nest acquired in 2014 – would need to find a new centerpiece to their automation.
That’s because, around eighteen months after acquiring Revolv – and outside of any remaining warranty period – Nest has decided to refocus its developer efforts on “Works with Nest”, its own take on smart home connectivity.
As a result, not only will support for Revolv be ending, but the hubs themselves will cease to operate. What once was designed to connect together automation products from a variety of companies – including Philips hue bulbs, Belkin WeMo switches, and more – will become a red plastic paperweight.
Unsurprisingly that didn’t leave owners too happy, especially as for many the news appears to have come as a surprise. According to a Nest spokesperson speaking to SlashGear, that’s been exacerbated by the company having a limited number of ways to get in touch with the users it acquired as part of the Revolv buy.
“We did our best to notify customers without having contact information on file,” Nest’s Ivy Choi told me. “Starting in February, we reached out to customers via app notifications and published the letter on revolv.com.”
Of course, one of the prime uses for Revolv has been setting up automatic macros and activities, which are triggered automatically based on movement, location, time of day, and other factors.
That given, it’s entirely possible that many Revolv owners may not normally open the app and thus see whatever notification Nest pushed through.
Whatever the background, the criticism leveled at Nest – and the cloud under which it places the “Works with Nest” ecosystem, which could just as easily be deactivated if the firm axed the cloud that powers it – has clearly stung. Today, the company put out a quiet offer of help to frustrated Revolv owners via its Twitter channel, offering to “find the best solution” for their smart home requirements.
Revolv owners, we're here to help. Please get in touch so we can find the best solution for your needs: email@example.com
— Nest Support (@nestsupport) April 5, 2016
It’s unclear at this stage what, exactly, Nest will do for any Revolv user who complains. However, earlier on the company did tell one owner that it would “look into” the possibility of a refund.
No exact numbers for how widespread Revolv hubs are have been given, though the system was not believed to be especially popular, and Nest was said to be primarily interested in the company’s talent and technology rather than the specific products it was offering. Indeed, sales of the hub ceased as soon as the acquisition was announced.
Update: A Nest spokesperson tells me that the company has been “working with Revolv customers on a case-by-case basis since February” when the first notifications went out, “to determine the best resolution, including compensation.” The advice, if you’re a Revolv hub owner, is to contact Nest at the email address above.