NEEO joins the Control4 Family

Friends,

I have the biggest news to share since inception. I wanted you to be among the very first to hear that NEEO just joined the Control4 family, the NASDAQ listed market leader in professionally installed smart home experiences. 

My goal with this post is to generally inform you what that means for all of us and for the current product.

 

Let me share some insights with you

With the announcement of NEEO PRO we intended to enter the market of professionally installed systems and we got amazing responses to our product like never before.

We knew success in the professionally installed field would be crucial for us. What began as NEEO working intensely with the teams at Control4 in order to make the experience with the Control4 platform an exceptional one soon became more. The deeper we dug in together the clearer it became that we should be a unified team to achieve the awesome level of integration we feel is right for the dealers and end-customers.

That’s basically how it all began. When the acquisition talks started, we felt it would be a perfect match. We have received many other acquisition offers before but those ones were always money-focused so we were not interested. This time it was different. We were two companies that both have a deep passion to create the best smart home experiences for the customers - and ultimately we fell in love.

Preparing for this deal and today’s announcement required a quiet-period. You may have realized we were a bit more quiet than usual - that’s why. I’m so happy I can finally share this news with you. It’s such a huge chance for a startup like NEEO!

 

Is this the end?

Being a very active supporter of many startups, and dozens of Kickstarter campaigns myself, I’m always afraid of receiving a goodbye email from companies. Many ran out of funding and I have a pile of products at home that I cannot use anymore. This sucks but it reflects the general success/failure rate of startups and the risk-taking involved. We want this to be different for you

Things will change, even though NEEO and Control4 both want to make sure your NEEO stays active and usable for a period of at least 24 months from this announcement. That being said, I also want to make sure we communicate transparently so the expectations are set right. As of today, no more NEEO products will be shipped. All existing NEEO customers will continue to receive support though and all services will be up for another 24 months. We understand the importance of the IR database continuing to evolve, we have short term solutions in place and we are looking into options to make this possible in the future as well.
 

How about new firmware versions?

To celebrate today's announcement, we have just made release 0.53.8 available to everyone. This release brings a load of new features to your NEEO, including a new dark UI, unlimited Multi-Brain support, more customization, and some awesome Easter-eggs. Check out the detailed release notes here.

We are planning to maintain the infrastructure required to deploy critical updates for the next 24 months and you may continue to use the SDK so that everyone can continue to build great applications for the platform.  That said, other than any critical updates this firmware is the last one that comes from the NEEO team. Control4 sells its products exclusively to certified dealers and not to end-customers, so it’s 100% clear there won’t be any direct-to-consumer products.

 

Why did we not stay independent?

We started NEEO with the idea of creating an amazing and easy to use universal interface for the smart home. Many large companies had tried this before and ultimately failed in one way or the other, but we had the drive and flexibility to make it happen. Overall the challenge of getting all protocols and devices supported is the biggest trick. We may have pushed the boundaries further than any other product out there but ultimately realized that the best smart home experience needs to be a curated one.

In my mind, Control4 is the clear winner in this category and by combining the great Control4 product line-up and the amazing dealer network with NEEO’s experience in the interaction devices category we feel will lead to the best experience possible. We will have the honor to continue the journey as part of this public company and work with awesome smart home gurus such as Charlie Kindel (Image) who joined Control4 from Amazon, where he previously led the Alexa efforts for the smart home.

 

Planet NEEO

As I anticipate my new role in the Control4 family, it is with a big smile but also a heavy heart I’m writing my last blog post here. I want to thank everyone who was part of the NEEO journey, especially all of you who were our biggest supporters and so crazy active here on the planet. Speaking about that - Planet NEEO will stay. You made it such a powerful knowledge base and fun place to hang out. You will notice that we change it a little bit to boost the features that matter and sunset those which are no longer needed. The team will remain available for you here. 

I believe many of you understand this change, but I’m also convinced there is a bit of sadness involved for many of us. We totally understand that you don’t want your NEEO to stop working. Some of you may be interested in doing more – providing support or development work for current NEEO customers. We are open to discussions if you have an interest. We can’t promise anything, yet we are open for all discussions. You have ideas in that regard? You want to be part of that future? Let us know your thoughts over here!

 

The (last) One

I mentioned above that there won’t be any more NEEO’s available from today on. There is one small exception. One lucky winner will get the very last unit, signed by the team and with a certificate of authenticity. All you need to do in order to win is posting a comment anywhere on Planet NEEO during the next 48h.

 

You beautiful people and inhabitants of Planet NEEO are simply the best. I’m thankful and honored having been part of this journey with you. 

 

THANK YOU!

Raphael 

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  • Steve Kozma , your guatantee hast just died!😂😂

    Reply Like
    • Tolga Aydogan Great Joke! 😄😄😄

      Reply Like
  • i don;t know if this was posted already

    https://www.cepro.com/article/why_control4_bought_neeo_eol_clarity_diy_remote

    here is the true story

    Reply Like 1
    • jan venema "

      Quote: "Kindel says Neeo is backed by “hard-core engineering” from a group of developers that, frankly, are hard to find these days. “The Neeo acquisition is a talent and technology investment, which should yield beautifully, designed and deeply integrated products for Control4 customers and our dealer channel,”

      I can't stop laughing... 😄😄😄

      They had switched off Neeos in their pocket and admired the design! That tells the whole story!!!

      Reply Like 2
    • jan venema 

       

      interesting they applied for patent on palm recognition in Oct 18, wonder if they have it ready just haven’t released it due to the pending acquisition.

      That really would make their activity illegally, if it’s not already!

      Reply Like
    • jan venema https://planet.neeo.com/r/y7wa88

      Muhahahaha! I really didn't expect anything NEEO related could ever again made even a bit of a day for me, but this clearly did:

      In return, Control4 gets one of the sexiest consumer-electronics unboxing experiences on the planet. Customers gush over the beautiful packaging

      Well, all in all, we must be happy, because most of all THIS is exactly what we gotr, too. And very little beyond, one possibly would want to add.....

      Reply Like
      • Dillon Moulder
      • Product Owner
      • Dillon_Moulder
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jan venema There’s a second article about the NEEO acquisition on the CEPro site: https://www.cepro.com/article/control4_acquires_neeo_remote_control

      There are a few interesting comments following the article too.

      Reply Like
      • jan venema
      • jan_venema
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Dillon Moulder the article: The NEEO PRO version features more powerful hardware

       

      and i thought i read on the blog somewhere that he hardware was exactly the same….

      Reply Like 1
      • Dillon Moulder
      • Product Owner
      • Dillon_Moulder
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jan venema I too read here on Planet NEEO that the product form was identical. Since the NEEO PRO shown at trade exhibitions was only a prototype, I expect it was nothing more than a NEEO Black Cat with some GUI customisation at best. I can’t help but feel that the NEEO PRO announcement was both an effort to enter the custom installer space (by partnering with companies such as HDAnywhere) and a move to initimidate the companies which dominate it. With the latter, it could be exactly why Control 4 acquired the company.

      Reply Like
  • What happened to the Savant consumer remote? off the market? They do a great job at the high end...were they not able to deliver at the DIY level?   Thanks  JC

    Reply Like 1
      • Steveeo
      • Steveeo
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      John Canavari I think Savant was unable to make money at the DIY level. I never used it myself, but I heard is was a good product.

      Independent of that, I suspect that any time an existing pro/custom remote maker brings out a consumer/DIY model, they get crap from their custom installers.

      Reply Like
    • Steveeo Thank you Steveeo...too bad ...I use Savant in my main home and love it...I just need a good universal remote in the 2nd home for one room surround sound, TV, Cable etc.... I shouldn't have to pay the AV guy to come in and program that...best...JC

      Reply Like
    • John Canavari Hadn't heard of Savant until now. That Remote is gorgeous.. but if it's not something I can buy and install myself I'm not interested.

      Shame that there are so few well-designed options out there.

      Reply Like
    • Mike Whooley Savant and Crestron are even *more* anti-DIY for the homeowner.  At least with Control4, you can add your own custom programming with ComposerHE or When --> Then.

      Reply Like
    • Ryan Erickson It's a pity then. I guess I'll be sticking with my Neeo until it breaks (or, more likely, until a new device is needed and isn't in the Neeo db) then see what the best option available is. Most like whatever the best Harmony remote is then.

      Reply Like
    • Mike Whooley my thoughts exactly. Scared to look into how good the DIY version was and regret I didn’t buy that one when it was available. Maybe they will bring it back to fill the whole NEEO left ...

      Reply Like 1
    • Mike Whooley or go back to old harmony, still working well after many years. It’s nowhere near as desireable an object and doesn’t support z-wave but otherwise it just works 

      Reply Like 2
    • mjoe
    • Joerg_Mattiello
    • 5 mths ago
    • 6
    • Reported - view
    Steve Kozma said:
    I wonder why it took so long to develop it...

    They where all rookies, nobody of them where a real pro in this field. Everything they made started at field 0. For such a small team, it’s simply a too big challenge. Raph just promised too much. And, NEEOs unfortunate communication always added fuel to the fire.

    Reply Like 6
      • Jan Pete
      • Techie
      • Jan_Pete
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Joerg Mattiello I bet he worked for a big player company before neeo, propably in middle/lower management. Only there you learn to communicate that bad to people you are depending on

      Reply Like 1
  • Raphael , so you took all of our money, delivered a product 3 years late to a sub-standard quality, and still is,  and now like some conman scam artist you're going to leave us with a product that never met its promises, and take your money and run.  I'm sorry but it's people like you that are all that is wrong in this world.  Greedy capitlist bloodsuckers leaching of the people who make you the money in the first place.

    I can't wish you well.  You don't deserve it.

    Reply Like 2
  • Anybody read the press release on the Control4 website?

    https://www.control4.com/press_releases/2019/02/04/control4-acquires-switzerland-based-neeo

    ”Control4 will support existing NEEO customers via www.neeo.com and plans to provide an upgrade path to make it easy for users to experience Control4’s broad array of smart home solutions.”

    Raphael Patrick this was never mentioned as part of your announcements... care to elaborate?

    Reply Like 3
    • Ruud
    • Ruud
    • 5 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    In the meantime, Raphael has already updated his LinkedIn-profile indicating the end of his tenure at NEEO and at the same time becoming "Senior Director" at Control4, sharing "cool images" like this: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6500752818087952385/

     Things turned out great for him. Cool new job and money in the bank.

    Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ruud Muhahahaha, Yes you can congratulate Control4, they are doing the same with the money of there shareholders as NEEO with the money of the kickstarter bakers.

       

      Reply Like
    • Ruud
    • Ruud
    • 5 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6498345377362640896/

     So Raphael, what "risks" were those exactly?

    Reply Like
      • Steveeo
      • Steveeo
      • 5 mths ago
      • 9
      • Reported - view

      Ruud Employees at a startup risk losing their jobs any day. In this case it worked out OK for them, but lots of startup employees work long hours for modest pay with an equity stake that often turns out to be worthless. (Been there, done that.)

      My biggest gripe with Raphael's post is that it doesn't even mention the Kickstarter customers who took lots of risk by putting their money on the line for Neeo (and never received a product with all the functionality they were promised).

      Reply Like 9
    • Beat M
    • IT Application Manager
    • Beat
    • 5 mths ago
    • 7
    • Reported - view
      • Bernhard
      • Bernhard
      • 5 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Beat M I totally agree with you. In the second article, he mention this (translated from German):

      This is the "bitter" side of the coin, Oberholzer admits: "We offer the community that it can continue to use and develop the platform."

      I guess that's yet another lie from him. After 24 month, how can the community continue to use, or even develop the platform, if we are not given any way to use NEEO offline nor given the source code?

      Reply Like 5
    • Bernhard and not to forget transmitting the bold statement in the headline: "I finally want to be able to focus again what's my real interest: developing new products!"

      Alternative caption transtlate: "Honestly, I don't give a shxx about the obligation to see a product through. It's ready when I say so.  Supporting a community that thinks different and believes its stupid right to continuously ask me to stick to my lfalse advertising just because they gave me their hard earned cash is not something I can build my ego on and is borderline to hard work.  Fortunately, with all that money in my pocket and that new carrer opportunity of a "product dreamer" I am now finally able to shut this whole mess down for once and all as soon the minimial legal requirements allow me to!"

      Someone locally should really hint the Solothurner he is literally STEALING the product from his supporters and direct customers with his deliberate decision to shut down the servers after the minimum legally required time. Not a son the city of Solothurn or Switzerland should be exactly proud of.

      Reply Like 1
  • Wow, I was just wondering why you weren’t on Amazon anymore...  you had a good thing going, you would have done better than to partner with C4.  You sold yourself short.  I’m glad I hadn’t made the move yet.  Very sad news and another great example of greed out weighing passion.  I’ll keep an eye out for you on future projects, and make sure to steer clear.

    Reply Like 5
  • I don't even have 24 months. After the latest software update my remote is not able to connect to the brain anymore! I'm able to control things from the iPhone app, but lets face it, I'm not going to constantly pull out my phone, do the face id just to up the volume on my TV. This thing just doesn't stop disappointing.

    What a failure, this company. They are SO lucky that someone actually paid money to buy them. This thing was on a sure path to death.

    Company that can not produce a product that works can not sell that product, that means no revenue... no new investors or credit line... no payroll... DEATH.

    Reply Like
      • Jeff
      • Head of Customer Experience
      • Jeff
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andris Hello. Sorry to hear that your remote is not pairing with your NEEO Brain. Can perform the following on your remote, please:

      1. Hold the power button on the NEEO Remote for 15 seconds

      2. Wait a few seconds

      3. Press the power & mute button simultaneously for a few seconds

      4. You should see the option for recovery, follow the on-screen steps

      Reply Like
      • Andris
      • Andris
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jeff I followed your instructions, downloaded latest firmware. Remote is still not able to connect to the brain :-(

      Reply Like
      • Jeff
      • Head of Customer Experience
      • Jeff
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andris Please email support@neeo.com and we will replace your NEEO Remote.

      Reply Like
      • Andris
      • Andris
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jeff Thanks! Just sent an email.

      Reply Like
  • I am fully aware as an experienced Kickstarter buyer that sometimes the promised product never get start off or is of poor quality. However in the Neeo case I can not get rid of the feeling that the supporters has been used for generating enough money to be attractiv for a take over. The product has never reached his full potential and the promises has never been fully implemented. Communication was and is extremely poor but now clearly understandable as the Kickstarter Supporter never played a role in their business plan.  A very disappointed customer of Neeo

    Reply Like 3
  • @niels_de_klerk As probably the most active contributor to this project, I would like to know your opinion on this take-over. We've already heard from Markus Mahr but I'd be interested in your thoughts...

    Reply Like 3
      • Dillon Moulder
      • Product Owner
      • Dillon_Moulder
      • 5 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Brian Phillips I think Niels has already begun trying to root the Brain, so I think actions speak louder than words: https://twitter.com/nklerk/status/1094276146781396992?s=21

      Reply Like 6
    • Dillon Moulder Just to clarify things. the post doesn't show the remote or brain being rooted. What is shown in the tweet is the remote being "hijacked" from its brain by my code. so all without a brain running.

      • My code serves the UI configuration of the remote.
      • My code Updates the remote UI as soon as the UI code changes.
      • My code informs the remote of state changes.
      • My code receives button and screen presses.

      Work that needs to be done before i share my code.

      • Figure out if the remote MDNS implementation is either bugged or not used.
      • Further capturing all traffic between the remote and brain. some mysteries still exist.
      • Building a UI demo that will help understanding the markup.
      • Finding a more friendly hijack method. (MDNS is important here)
      • Sniffing 6lowpan communication to see what's possible there. (not required but could help)
      • Documenting communication protocols and findings.

      Those who have deep knowledge of network protocols and can code a bit of nodejs can get early access.

      I'm not saying that i am not also working on obtaining root access.

      Reply Like 22
      • Dillon Moulder
      • Product Owner
      • Dillon_Moulder
      • 5 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Niels de Klerk Thanks for sharing this update on your work. The fact that you’re doing this is most inspiring and much appreciated. If anybody can think of a way for the community to climb out of this hole, I’m sure it’s you.

      Reply Like 4
    • Niels de Klerk interessting work, sadly i am not a coder...

      thanks for your work. 👍

      Reply Like
    • Niels de Klerk thank you. just give me a hint if i can help you out.

      Reply Like
    • Niels de Klerk  that screen speaks for your healthy amount of humor and carries a spark of hope!

      Reply Like
    • Niels de Klerk in essence you could then use your own 'brain' to FWD commands to e.g. Domoticz/hass.io .. nice!

      Reply Like
    • Niels de Klerk 👍😍

      Reply Like
  • Go Niels!!!

    Reply Like 2
  • Lekker bezig Niels de Klerk ! Respect voor alles wat je in je vrije tijd uitvogelt en deelt met de community.

     

    --

    Thanks Niels for all you have done for the community

    Reply Like 1
    • Harry Buurman That's funny.  Uitvogelen means "to have sex" in Belgium.  When we have to say we're searching for something we say uitvissen.

      Reply Like
    • Frederik Vancoillie haha hilarisch! Zo gaat poepen geloof ik ook weer anders bij ons dan bij u. 😅 

      Reply Like 1
      • Kurt
      • Kurt.1
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Frederik Vancoillie In België schrijven we het ook (uitvogelTTTTT) :)

      Reply Like
    • Kurt Dat zullen die andere dt-regels zijn in Nl. :)

      Reply Like
    • Harry Buurman Poepen gaat bij ons idd anders maar het eindigt wel meestal hetzelfde, met wat toiletpapier. :)

      Reply Like
    • Frederik Vancoillie Ik speel net zo lief met vrouwen als met tech dus ik reken het beide goed. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Frederik Vancoillie overigens kan ik uren bezig zijn met NEEO maar ben ik met 5 minuten wel klaar met vogelen zeg maar :-)

      Reply Like 2
  • wow nice to see members with knowledge like Niels de Klerk and others working on something after Neeo Planet. Any chance of having the community have a alternative home just in case this forum goes down? or maybe someone create some kind of group for people follow? Thanks!

    Reply Like 7
  • A journey I thought was finally a good one out of many started on Kickstarter. Well....I was wrong. My Neoo Black Cat is sold, Logitech Harmony Elite back in house and I am happy. Everything works and I finally have visible lighted buttons again.

    The day I pay INSTALLER to do my remotes and systems will never come, never ever.

     

    Goodbye Neeo community, it was an experience, I learned a lot not to make similar mistakes in the future. I am buying launched, made products only.

    Reply Like 2
  • Djeezus, not even 10 days ago I got a reply on a technical question about the remote, no mention at all about: "we might stop soon".
    Spend some time researching more, and seeing how I could implement ( not even 10days).
    Came back to the website to order one today. And now see: ok guys we're done, to all that has one, good luck in the future we will not do anything on it ( 24months support yeah sure, it always goes away immediately). 

    Anyhow, the hunt for a beautiful z-wave everything in one beautiful remote goes on :)...
    Any tips, ? As the harmony is soooo ugly... Sooo Soo Ugly, 
    ( i can ask this here now, as Neeo Remote doesn't exist anyhow anymore)
     

    Reply Like 1
  • Has anyone "won" The (last) One?

    Reply Like 1
    • Namey McNamey you mean if they ever "delivered" on their promise? As in ... the license to mess kits, hand recognition, Bluetooth, Zigbee (which was "corrected" tobe only used for communiocation between handset and brain in the press at some point), etc.? Shall I make a guess for you?

      Reply Like 2
    • Namey McNamey 

      That will occur - wait for it - soon.™️

      Reply Like 1
      • Bernard Cooper
      • Software Tester / Tech Enthusiast / Disenchanted KS NEEO backer
      • Bernard_Cooper
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Klaus Grosser Never knew the license to mess kits were never sent nor was I aware of the Zigbee retraction.  Was hoping the kits would be "a way in" for the likes of Niels de Klerk and our other resourceful fellow backers.  Things just keep on getting more disappointing.  So much potential wasting away in our charging cradles.

      Reply Like
    • Bernard Cooper im doing a lot in the background at the moment. Things go slow, really slow. im following a parallel strategie for NEEO but also working on an alternative. There is nothing to share anytime soon but keep an eye here and follow me on Twitter if your interested to know as soon as (and if) something happens. Having a demanding day job doesnt make it more easy.

      I provided all the starting info someone with the correct expertise to read the eMMC chip. My bet is this is our way in. Atleast provide a lot regarding security details.

      Reply Like 7
      • Pontus Lernhag
      • Live long and prosper!
      • Pontus_Lernhag
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Klaus Grosser And IFTTT (promised as a stretch goal)... and KODI integration... and... :)

      Reply Like 1
    • Pontus Lernhag at least we got the SDK - for what it's ever to be worth in less than 2 years.

      Reply Like
      • Bernard Cooper
      • Software Tester / Tech Enthusiast / Disenchanted KS NEEO backer
      • Bernard_Cooper
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Niels de Klerk Glad to hear it.  You may have just given me a reason to actually use my Twitter account.  I'll be watching.

      Reply Like
    • Bernard Cooper
    • Software Tester / Tech Enthusiast / Disenchanted KS NEEO backer
    • Bernard_Cooper
    • 3 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view
    Raphael said:
    We totally understand that you don’t want your NEEO to stop working. Some of you may be interested in doing more – providing support or development work for current NEEO customers. We are open to discussions if you have an interest. We can’t promise anything, yet we are open for all discussions. You have ideas in that regard? You want to be part of that future? Let us know your thoughts over here!

    There seem to be a bunch of people on the forums ready and willing to start the discussions you've referred to.  We're closing in on the 2 month mark now.  When can we expect someone to engage with what is left of the community on something more substantial than adding new devices to the database?

    Reply Like 1
    • Bernard Cooper in my former post I’m referring to this as one of the strategies. 

      Reply Like 1
  • If you have some patience we are working on another solution that will be more open sourced. https://community.home-assistant.io/t/touchscreen-remote-for-ha/99161 stay tuned here for the moment until we create our own website and forum to follow. This will not be a commercial all in one solution for HA as Neeo propheticized,  but rather a DIY enthusiast project for Hub or device control, until we can get it up and running smoothly. 

    Reply Like 6
  • I have 3 of these remotes.  And I have to say after the last couple of updates they have went down hill extremely fast.  Not connecting, battery life crap, buttons not responding all the time.  It’s like you planned for the remotes to fell with updates so I’d want to switch back to a harmony.  Now you will no support after 24 months.  Selling out to another company and then not supporting you’re equipment that just came out a little over a year ago is just wrong.  You didn’t go out of business you sold you’re business.  I like to upgrade my main home theater equipment every few years and looks like I’ll have to go back to harmony.  I’m sorry but you guys suck, I really enjoyed the neeo when it work properly the first year or so.  I raved about the customer service and told my friends how much I liked these remotes.  You guys do not care about your customers obvislouly and never did.  Grab a lot of cash in the beginning and then 1 one “lucky” customer will recieve a signed remote and a certificate of authenticity that will not have support.  Awesome job guys.  Who the hell collects remotes they aren’t baseball cards dumbasses.  

    Reply Like 2
  • So who is the lucky person who won the remote??????

    Reply Like
    • Hercules Dio Control4

      Reply Like
    • Hercules Dio lol “lucky” more like cursed

      Reply Like
  • Martin Plaehn

    Reply Like
  • Not happy. Not amused. Not good news at all. I regret supporting this now :(

    Reply Like 1