Smart home company Eve bought by automation giant ABB

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Smart home company Eve bought by automation giant ABB

Smart home company Eve Systems – one of the leaders in HomeKit-compatible and now Matter-compatible devices – has been bought by the automation and electrification giant ABB.

Eve will, with immediate effect, become part of the Building and Home Automation Solutions division of ABB. The two parties naturally hope the partnership will be good news, but some will be watching events with some degree of nervousness …

Smart home company Eve Systems

Eve began life as Elgato Systems, a small startup based in Germany, and has made a name for itself as a maker of reliable, affordable, and well-thought-out smart home technology.

Back in 2014, Eve was just a brand name for a home monitoring system which provided alerts for things like temperature and water usage. The brand was subsequently adopted for other smart home products, and when Elgato sold its gaming division to Corsair, the remaining company renamed itself Eve Systems.

Automation and electrification giant ABB

ABB is a large multinational company with its fingers in many pies. Relevant here is the Building and Home Automation Solutions division, which mostly works on high-end products for commercial property – offices and hotels.

Accordingly, the company’s pitch is cost-savings, rather than gadget factor.

More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure. HVAC and lighting alone can account for about 50 percent of energy use in an average commercial building. By incorporating smart automation, managers may see decreased energy costs of 30 to 50 percent.

However, the company has also targeted consumers on a smaller scale.

With innovative, integrated solutions under one roof, we want to make buildings intelligent and shape the future. With energy-efficient and future-oriented technology, we want to ensure that people feel at home in buildings, have a maximum sense of security and can work in a sustainably productive way. From the modern family home to the exclusive luxury hotel.

The acquisition

From ABB’s perspective, buying Eve gets it into the mass(ish)-market consumer sector, and allows it to get on board Matter and Thread, rather than proprietary protocols.

The transaction will make ABB a leader in smart home products based on Matter and Thread, the new interoperating standard and wireless connectivity technology. The combined offer will accelerate ABB’s delivery of safe, smart and energy efficient homes and buildings through Eve’s extended complementary range of consumer-facing products tailored to the retrofit market.

What will it mean for consumers?

If all works as the two companies hope, then the financial clout of ABB will enable it to grow both its product range and reach at a much faster rate.

Eve’s CEO Jerome Gackel said: “Building on our heritage, pace of innovation and brand, we will now be combining our passion, agility and experience with ABB’s international caliber, reputation, and expertise to keep growing Eve as a global leader. The journey to making buildings even smarter has only just started, and I am as excited as anyone to see its potential fully realized.”

Here’s hoping that’s the case.

The other possibility, of course, is that a responsive and fast-moving startup gets bogged down in the bureaucracy and slow decision-making of a monolithic multinational.

ABB may also be more interested in integrating Eve’s tech into full-on automated buildings, rather than the company’s past focus on bringing affordable tech to consumers to mix-and-match as they please.

Watch this space…

Photo: R Architecture/Unsplash

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