Hive goes the subscription route with “smart home as a service”

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Hive, a connected home company, is launching a new subscription service aimed at introducing people to smart home products without having to pay for each device.

The “Welcome Home” service has three tiers: starter, regular, and premium.

The starter package includes the Hive Hub, an Active Plug to manually turn off devices, two LED Active lightbulbs and two window or door sensors for $ 9.99 a month. The subscription service is also available in the United Kingdom for £5.99 a month.

See Also: Microsoft to turn Windows 10 PCs into smart home hubs

Regular customers receive all of that, plus an Active thermostat, Motion sensor, another Active Plug and two more Active lightbulbs, for $ 24.99 a month.

Hive adds even more to the premium package, another thermostat, motion sensor, two extra Active Plugs, four Active lightbulbs, and two window or door sensors. That package costs $ 39.99 a month.

A two-year commitment needed

The service is a 24-month commitment and charges will apply to those that cancel early.

More plans will be available in the future with a larger variety of devices. Hive also plans to add limited integration with some third-party products.

Hive is relatively unknown in the U.S., but in the U.K. it has over 300,000 customers. British Gas, one of the Big Six energy companies in Britain, owns the brand and has bundled Hive hardware with certain gas and electricity packages.

Monthly payments for gadgets is not new, but in the smart home world it could be even more beneficial, as it provides incentive for brands to keep software and services updated. One of the most common complaints from smart home customers is the lack of updates after the first 12 months.

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