NEEO joins the Control4 Family
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.
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.
What can I say that hasn't already been said? This is extremely disappointing.
I had patience for round after round of disappointment only because of the strong commitment to quick, effective user feedback. I had sympathy for all the nonsense the company had to withstand. But in the end of the day, I paid $500 for a couple remotes that are painful for me to use.
I just finished watching Valley of the Boom (NatGeo), which highlights how the race to IPO had the effect of making very few people wealthy on the backs (as always) on individual investors. I realize that's not what happened here, but it's the same kind of story.
Congratulations on your new jobs and your new bank balances. We provided you with that, because we believed in you. And at the end of the day, you must admit, we are left with very little in return.Reply
Most customers would be much less hostile if they knew their expensive remotes would still operate after 24 months, albeit without further software/firmware updates. Seems to me that NEEO's customer base was advanced DIYer's who couldn't make do with something as pedestrian as a Harmony remote but weren't willing to shell out thousands for a custom dealer solution where they upcharge all the hardware and invoice you $100 per button press. I think it's the complete shift to a different customer base that has people the most irked. If you're rich and don't know what you're doing you get a dealer - if you know what you're doing and don't have hundred dollar bills falling out of your velvet robe pockets you got a NEEO. NEEO customers don't want to make a $200 call every time they need to change a button. There is very little overlap. NEEO has taken the idea of well integrated home control away from the 98% with this acquisition.Reply
Ok. Delivered 2.5 years to late. With nary a firmware update since then. Still version 0.5something something (is today's update the third one since they shipped late 2017?) With a so very basic interaction that you still need the apps or remotes for the devices you thought should be controlled by the NEEO remote or the BRAIN because you sometimes need to do more than turning something on or off.
Well. The unboxing was nice. You really nailed that. Probably the only reason why I would like to win the last remote (and soon to be electronic waste).
You really want the servers to run for two more years (writing 24 months does not make it seem longer). Meh, considering I had to get a replacement remote after 10 months, I'm guessing the replacement unit will probably die before your servers.
No more kickstarting for me.Reply
I wrote the following a year ago over here: https://planet.neeo.com/t/y7ft3l
I don't want to start any doomsday theories, but my girlfriend asked me the other day "What if the Neeo company folded... how would you add new devices to your Neeo if they are not in the database". She had a good point. I do believe in the company and hope they are around for a long time, but I guess after thinking about this I'm starting to see the importance of a learning capability for the remote.
Well I guess we'll find out in the next 2 years.Reply
doesn't Control 4 have a publicity department that should have helped you with drafting this ridiculous announcement? Maybe they might have had a better plan than "Hey great news... We're screwing all of our customers over!" Perhaps we should hear from your new overlords in this forum instead of you at this point... Do THEY have any thoughts about bringing along your customer base in a way that might add to their bottom line as well as their company's reputation?Reply
I was very unhappy with the product I received after waiting more than two years. It looked the part but didn’t do much, and what it did do, it didn’t do well at all.
I couldn’t t see how things would improve to the extreme extent that was required so I sold it after a week.
I’m sorry I sold it to you, dear stranger, and I’m sorry I ever sponsored this piece of shit.Reply
it’s a bit of a shame really. I started my home automation journey with C4 quite a few years ago and became very frustrated with the fact that any small change needed required a pro installer to make the change at considerable expense to me. Now I can’t expand my NEEO ecosystem and it will be eventually thrown in the trash like my C4 system.Reply
Will Neeo still exist? Does control4 plan to further develop neeo to the same target demographic.
After two years will we be able to use the remote and app as normal?. They just don't update anymore? Will I have to buy a new one? Will there be a neeo for sale? Really don't want a plastic remote.Reply
This is a real disappointment !
i searched for ages for a remote like NEEO that had style and was a nice clean interface, I could see by the packaging and product you had genuinely cared about developing a quality product and experience. I really am surprised at how elated you are in your email Raphael surely you can see that backers and people like me that bought a remote less than 1 month ago to support you wouldn’t be impressed ? To not have a path laid out already to support those who supported you seems incredible to me ?
Can I clarify the following too as it seems unclear still.
1. In 2 years the remote will stop working all together ? Or at least work to support the devices you already have
2. A new TV released tmrw or in 6 months will not be supported ?
3. You have no plans to find a way of supporting those that supported you to date by developing a long term strategy
4. You will offer no refunds for this now new but immediately redundant tech ?
Jeff would appreciate any clarity possible too
thanks and sad news !
as a founder of startups that have lasted 6 and 22 years respectively and still going in the software space myself I wish you had of stuck in there.Reply
I was happy with my Brain and Remote pair, even with the current functionality; and was looking to add a second pair for the bedrooom. But that's gone now. There's no way I'm going to invest hundreds of euros in devices that could become paperweights in 2 years' time.
I really hope I'm misunderstanding all this.
I love the Neeo design and the convenience.. I don't want to lose the functionality and have the time spent getting this set up all wasted. It annoys the hell out of me if I'll have to do it all again with all-new devices. (Which WON'T be Control 4! Unless something dramatically changes!)Reply
Congratulations, I'm sorry to see development of this product come to an end as it has definitely been a winner for me. My main regret is that this product will never gain the new HomeKit integration that seems to be evolving - a natural complement to this product I have already been enjoying in it's limited implementation.
Best wishes on your future ventures!Reply