Nest Considered to Compensate Customers for Disabling Revolv Smart Home Hub

By Staff Writer

Apr 07, 2016 09:52 AM EDT

Google acquired Revolv as part of its smart home strategy and integrate it into Nest in 2014. Revolv announced that as of May 16, it will shut down its device. The announcement sparked outrage from customers who still use Revolv in their homes, and Nest plans to compensate them.

In an announcement as quoted by Gizmodo, Revolv said, "In 2014, we were bought by Nest and the technology we made became an integral part of the Works with Nest platform. Now Works with Nest is turning into something more secure, more useful and just flat-out better than anything Revolv created."

Following the announcement from Revolv, Nest Public Relations Specialist Ivy Choi confirmed the shutdown in an email statement, "Revolv was a great first step toward the connected home, but we believe that Works with Nest is a better solution and are allocating resources toward that program."

It is not clear how many homes are affected by the shutdown, but it raises a concern of how vulnerable the customers rights and ownership in the connected future. In an attempt to calm the angered customers, who have paid $300 for Revolv smart home hub, Nest said it has been working with its customers to find the right solution.

Nest spokesperson told The Verge that the company is planning to compensate Revolv owner for the money they have spent on the product.

"We've been working with the small number of Revolv customers on a case-by-case basis since we sent out the first customer notification in February to determine the best resolution, including compensation," said Nest's spokesperson to The Verge.

However, it is not clear whether Nest plans to refund the customers the full amount of $300 for the hub or less than that. Revolv is the smart hub which is able to control many home appliances and automation systems with a central app.

This incident, according to Business Insider, has sparked a debate on customers right in the Internet of Things era. A customer, Arlo Gilbert, in his Medium post wrote, "Google is intentionally bricking hardware that I own."

The debate is on the ownership in the Internet of Things era and implication to customers. As manufacturers can turn off a device to disable it permanently, and nothing will stop them.

"Is the era of IoT bringing an end to the concept of ownership? Are we just buying intentionally temporary hardware? It feels like it. I own a Commodore 64 that still works," Gilbert asked further.

As Nest switched of its Revolv smart home hub, it raised concern about customers right in IoT era. Although Nest has planned to compensate the customers, nothing will stop other companies to do the same with their device.

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