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Nest demonstrates the risks of being an early adopter by shutting down Revolv

TechCrunch TechCrunch 4/04/2016 Matt Burns

Remember the Revolv home automation hub? Probably not. The device was released in late 2013, and while fantastic, it largely flew under the radar before Google’s Nest division bought the company for $300 million, and promptly stopped selling the device. But the device was still available from various retailers and worth the cash for home packed with Internet of Things devices. It works great — and soon it won’t.

Google, through Nest, is shutting down the backend of the Revolv device on May 15, 2016. This change was sudden. Until the middle of February of this year, support for the Revolv hub seemed indefinite and then the company’s website was updated to indicated the impending closure.

Though sudden, this shouldn’t be a large surprise. The device had not been sold for several years. The iOS app had not been updated since February 2015, per data provided by Sensor Tower, who also notes the app only ever received 96 ratings.

When Nest bought Revolv in 2014, the company was clear that they were interested in the team behind the device and not the device itself. Nest co-founder Matt Rogers called the team one of the best for home wireless and home communication. At the time, Rogers indicated that Nest would continue to support Revolv customers.

This shows the danger in buying device reliant on backend services. There’s always a chance that the company behind the device will stop paying the server bills and leave users with a paperweight. Things do not last forever. Buyer beware is an old adage that’s still relevant today.

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