Hive’s smart home system will keep you informed and entertained

Undoubtedly, 2015 will be the year that we see connected living go mainstream. Evident by the sheer number of smart home devices on display back at CES, we can surely expect an uptick in products hitting the market, ranging from hubs to lights to speakers. Now, what if you rolled all those those things into one? That’s exactly what one Salt Lake City startup has done.

Called Hive, the team has set out to create a smart home that is easy to use, and more importantly, even easier to afford. The system — which recently made its Kickstarter debut — is comprised of a smart hub and audio system that offers a complete package of in-home entertainment, automation and security.

The simple, elegantly-designed Hub offers support for nearly every major wireless networking technology, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-wave. The device boasts a dual-core 1GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 4GB Flash storage, Ethernet, 3G for backup Internet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Z-Wave, IEEE 802.15.4 (for ZigBee or Thread), a battery, a Libre audio streaming module with Google Cast support, as well as a wireless transceiver for compatibility with Honeywell security sensors. What’s more, the plug-and-play Hub provides hassle-free setup and customization, allowing users to easily switch on/off the lights, unlock the doors, or activate a number of appliances.

In addition, the Hive Sound is a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled speaker system that can emit the same (or different) tunes to various parts throughout your connected house. The speakers, which insert right into a standard wall outlet, not only stream beats straight from your Google Play, iHeartRadio, NPR One and Pandora playlists, but can receive alerts and notifications of the important things happening around you as well. In the event of an emergency, the system is equipped with two-way voice for instant communication for first responders.

The speakers are packed with a pair of drivers and a passive radiator for full sound, a series of RGB LEDs for visual notifications, a microphone with noise cancellation, and a Libre wireless audio module. For good measure, the Sound also features a built-in backup battery that allows the system to run, even if the power goes out or Internet goes down.

Like a number of smart home devices on the market today, Hive was developed with simplicity in mind. With its companion app, homeowners can control each Hive Sound throughout the home, as well as individually. Having a get-together or want to blast the radio? You can also pair them together and have a dynamic, surround-sound experience.

Currently live on Kickstarter, the team is seeking $100,000. If all goes to plan, the well-rounded smart home devices are expected to begin shipping in May 2015. Interested in learning more or backing the project, head over to its official page here.

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