How can we improve Hive Active Heating™ and what would you like to see developed next?

Make the old SmartPlug "smart" again

Hi Hive,

Please do not simply answer with: "Sorry, It would have to be our new Active Plug to be controlled remotely."

Can you make your old "SmartPlug" smart again? I am sure the hardware (which looks to be exactly the same as its AlertMe version) is capable of remote switching on/off.

It appears that the Hive SmartPlug is basically "older stock" inherited from when Hive/British Gas acquired AlertMe which was re-badged and sent out as basic signal booster plugs. But I am sure they are capable of more than just being a booster plug? If the hardware is identical, and the plug used to be remotely controlled, it should be just a matter of software development to allow it on Hive.

I appreciate in early days Hive was concentrating on Heating and therefore did not have the controls or screens for plug control in the app or website. But with the recent launch of the new 'ActivePlug' you now have those screens.

I also appreciate you are heavily promoting your new ActivePlug and, right now, may not feel it in your best interest to enable the old plug for remote control. But it could also be considered that by giving a 'free gift' of an upgrade to the (assumedly) thousands of customers who have an older booster plug this may encourage loyalty and may entice people more into Home Automation and towards buying more products... All for the cost of a small amount software development (and ongoing support).

At the very least I would be interested to know your thoughts on the above proposal.
* Are there any technical reasons why this can't be done (software or hardware)?
* Has any consideration been put into this already?
* If it were possible do you think it would encourage people towards HA or simply eat away at your ActivePlug sales?

I have also written a short article on this here:



37 votes
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  • Andy Stokes commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Well this is utter rubbish! I have just found my 'smart' plug again decided to use it. I got it in the post from British Gas for free (I didnt ask for one, they just sent it to me) and after a couple of hours messing around trying to get it to work I gave up and fired the laptop up to see what I was doing wrong. It seems I wasnt doing anything wrong, its just that the smart plug isnt smart at all now. I have no need for a signal booster so I guess the only place for this peice of crap is the bin. Gutted.

  • James Saunders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Interesting, seems like you were informed incorrectly there (or they changed their mind).

    I spent months pestering them by email, Twitter etc to no avail.

    Although I have proved these can be remotely controllable (and I have managed to get my booster plugs remotely controlled with some geekery) I don't think Hive will ever consider enabling them officially (not now they have their new ActivePlug).

    They closed this idea as 'Declined' without a word :-( which means people can no longer vote on this, but please feel free to pester / tweet them to add your voice.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    when I had my Hive installed I needed to get the "smart plug" boosters, at extra cost.
    In fact I ended up with 3 of them, I was told these would be controllable at a later date so I reluctantly bought them since I thought I would get some extra value in the future.
    you can imagine how I feel being told the promised feature will never materialise and I am faced with further expense if I want to get that type of feature..

    BTW I still have no idea why I needed 3 of these booster to get the system working in the first place, it's not like I live in a mansion.

  • James Saunders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    At the very least, if Hive don't want to make the old plug remote controlled because they don't want people moving it (jeopardising booster function), they could at least make it so we can read power values and remotly see whether it is switched on or off?

  • James Saunders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Feedback from Kassir Hussain (Director of Connected Homes at British Gas):

    "We won’t be making the older booster smart plug controllable because we decided we’d rather people didn’t move the smart plug around. When its a controllable smart plug people were moving it around and finding the booster function didn’t work because the smart plug was moved! This is a deliberate design decision we made."

    Thank you Kassir for taking the time to feed back!

    I appreciate the reasons for not making the SmartPlug remote controllable (at the risk of degrading its 'primary' purpose as a signal booster). Although I am a little disappointed at this product decision and still feel it is a wasted potential, I think we will have to respect Hives reasons.


  • James Saunders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Andrew, thanks for your comment. Please vote on this request also. I am hoping that with enough votes Hive may take notice.

  • Andrew commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have over 40 alertme sensors, and have waited years for 'planned' features. Now we get the same sensors rebranded, fewer features, and have to purchase all the sensors again?! Please allow the system to discover old alertme sensors (you could update their firmware via the alert dashboard as usual if needed giving you a path to switch off the old alertme servers and support loyal users.

  • James Saunders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for voting! I want to give Hive the benefit of the doubt and think it is just a case that at startup Hive wanted to focus on their heating, which is why they did not make the old SmartPlug remote controllable from the start.

    I also appreciate that they want to develop their own new range of products (hence the new plug, sensors etc), but I think, with the minimum of effort they could make the old SmartPlugs remote controllable (as I am sure the hardware is capable of it)... I am sure the bean counters at Hive have weighed up the options and (at least for now) want to promote people towards their new ActivePlug.

    I just hope that one day Hive may give the many people who have older plugs a "free gift"'and enable them for remote control also. I am hoping, if this gets enough votes, they may notice this product request. Please encourage others to vote for it! :-)

    (p.s Yes, I also agree the price for the new ActivePlug is a bit steep!)

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Not sure if this is laziness or greed on the part of BG Hive. Do they really think we are all going to stump up £45 to replace previous plugs, I'd love to know how many they have sold.

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