At CES 2019, TechRepublic Senior Writer Teena Maddox spoke to Hive Chief Product Officer Tom Guy about Hive Link, and how it benefits aging seniors. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Tom Guy: So we're here today to really talk about a couple of specific things, but building out on the home automation products that we've had for some time now. We're the UK's number one smart home provider. We have the UK's number one smart thermostat as well.
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Couple of new things: So we launched the outdoor camera in December last year, that was off the back of the indoor camera that we launched at CES this time last year. But what we're doing is we're building out on the home automation products—that's really answering some customer problems. By the use of a couple of sensors and plugs, with some data algorithms, we've introduced Hive Link. And Hive Link's our first step into corrected care, and the assisted living market.
We really know that carers wake up in the morning feeling really guilty, because they're worried about their elderly loved one. And what we've tried to do with just a couple of sensors, just tell them they're up and about, they're okay—and that's taken that guilt and pressure off the carer and also, knows the person at home, they're being looked after, as well.
So this has been a really exciting product for us to launch at the end of last year, comes into North America at H2. And with a very simple interface, the customer, the carer, really knows what's going on in their loved one's home.
And the other part is it all works on what we call Hive Circle, so you imagine, you've got your mom or dad in the middle of the circle, then the next level of the circle outside of that would be you, your brother or your sister, just other people you want to keep an eye on your mom or dad. And then outside of that would be people like neighbors, someone that could get around to the home a little bit quicker. And they would just receive a text. They would not receive all of the information that's in the app about your mom and dad. We're really excited, and obviously we've got the Innovations Award Honoree for Hive Link, so we're super excited about that product.
SEE: CES 2019: The big trends for business (ZDNet special feature)
Teena Maddox: Do you think products—technology that helps seniors and for their caregivers—do you think that's going to be a big thing at CES this year?
Tom Guy: Yeah, I think we're going to see the move here in 2019. I think anything that can take the burden off of government and let people stay at home for longer, I think there's a benefit both ways. We know from our research and our labs, they want to stay at home, that's where they want to be, and just by providing a little bit more of a service around that, we can lengthen that time out, and hopefully they can enjoy their time more.
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Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.