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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  • Wauw control4, they r big🙂

    Best of luck and Thx u for a nice product

    Reply Like
  • Only Lucky one is the founder of NEO with a new job and nice money. but i guess the team will be now forced to check for a new job... 

    Reply Like
  • Always thought to buy a NEEO, too bad it's over now... 😐

    Reply Like
  • As no hardware replacementwill be available it will die anyway even it would be open sourced.

    This is imoral.

    Reply Like 4
  • Well done Neeo! It shows perfectly how much Kickstarter supporters are worth... Nada.

    I don't wish you good luck because you guys screwed us big time. You took our money, promised a lot and delivered in 3 and a half year nearly nothing. If I would be you I would be ashamed but hey, money doesn't stink and you don't give a damn what we actually thinking. 
    Control 4 will not allow the firmware to be open source (they paid money to get it) and so the current version of the Neeo Remote will die very soon. 
    At least it's a beautiful piece of hardware on the shelf of the dead gadgets and reminds me never to trust anyone who ask me for contribution to a great idea. Well done Neeo!

    Reply Like 6
    • Ernie
    • Ernie
    • 5 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Great that posting a comment here will give us a chance about winning the last Neeo. Who do you think you will make happy with that one?

    Reply Like
    • Ernie i would be happy with the last NEEO... it was nice to be a part of it in my opinion..

      Reply Like
  • I would think there is a very good case for legal action against Neeo from anyone who backed this. No one backed a sub beta remote that would be dropped like a hot potato when someone flashed their cash at the CEO.

    Reply Like 3
  • Such a shame you guys won’t make anymore remote look so impressive, your remotes look well made I haven’t the chance to own one maybe if i win one my dream may come true. 

    Reply Like
  • Sad news, I did order one early in but my order got messed up. Would love to have the last one. 

    Reply Like
  • Does this mean the remote becomes useless and it gets thrown in the bin, or will it continue to be usable?

    Reply Like
  • what is it with great Kickstarter projects that get sold out?   and, if NEEO is anything like Pebble, it will disappear into the ether.   Pebble was a superb smartwatch - most funded project ever in KS with their Time watch (plus 2 others in top 5) - which got bought by Fitbit and then the infrastructure and support went AWOL never to be seen again.   we bought 4 Pebble watches which beyond basic functionality are now useless.  (EDIT:  there is an alternative support via Rebble but has had limited takeup)

    sadly, I see NEEO going the same way.  lovely remote, did a job, but will now be dead in 2 years.   

    I'm not blaming the people behind Pebble and NEEO selling out - why not cash in on your investment? - but to leave thousands (probably millions in Pebble's case) with functionally downgraded products is a bad plan.   Investors don't forget.

    Reply Like 1
  • This is very exciting news. Congratulations on your new venture. Onwards!

    Reply Like 1
  • I always bragged about NEEO : https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/homeseer-products-services/general-discussion-area/108869-neeo-remote but hey , long live NEEO!👋

     

    Eman.

    Reply Like
  • Raphael Wow, this is so disappointing. I'm not gonna start on telling you how fake you are when I read this marketing BS. Leaving customers with an unfinished product and unfulfilled promises. I hope a big PR hammer will hit you for that.

    Reply Like 7
  • Is there even any Alternative to Neeo at the Moment? Cant Compare with Harmony in Term of Look and Feel

    Reply Like
    • Andreas sevenhugs great little remote good community and regular updates. Just added shield tv after it was requested.

      Reply Like
      • Geoff T
      • Geoff_T
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Andreas Actually I find my Harmony Elite better than the Neeo in every way except maybe looks. The Neeo needed more hard buttons IMO. Even if the firmware had been perfect (which it wasn't even close to) the lack of hard transport buttons was always an issue for me. The Harmony is a long way from perfect but it's half the price of Neeo, and Logitech hasn't just ripped off all its investors either.

      Reply Like 3
  • The worst thing about this is what it will do to future Kickstarter projects. Anyone thinking about contributing to one who knows what happened here will now run a mile. "Remember Neeo" will become a KS warning. 

    Reply Like 3
  • This is terrible.  I bought 3no in January and got them shipped to me at home here in West Africa.  What a waste of money!!  Lesson learnt.  Try to stick with the big names

    Reply Like
      • Geoff T
      • Geoff_T
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Olatomiwa Oyebolu Get your money back. If only January you should be within the 30 days surely? Even if not, what they sold was sold under false pretences so you should be entitled to a refund under description of goods rules.

      Reply Like 1
    • Geoff T Thanks for this but the cost of shipping from West Africa will almost nullify the refund.

      Reply Like
      • Geoff T
      • Geoff_T
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Olatomiwa Oyebolu When i returned mine under the 30 day return deal they sent me a prepaid returns label so return postage was free. Don't know if yours was the same deal but I would ask them at least. Let them know you are extremely unhappy with the situation. They have just had a huge injection of cash the least they can do is refund unhappy customers IMO.

      Reply Like
  • 24 months?  That's less time that I had to wait for the funded Kickstarter project to deliver the remote!  Most of the features that sold me on funding the initial project aren't even being delivered.  That's terrible. This project is and has been very discouraging for me to back more KS projects.  Way to deliver NEEO!  🙄

    Reply Like 4
  • Looking forward to the Last One!

    Reply Like
  • Sad news.

    Reply Like
    • Alex B
    • Walk without rhythm, and you won't attract the worm!
    • Alex_B
    • 5 mths ago
    • 6
    • Reported - view

    Any lawyer here? I smell class action. Selling the company and ending support is one thing, but they sold their product under false pretenses there are actual laws for this.. Always big on marketing HUE and Nest. Showing off features that never came. Imo, Raphael  and his questionable way of running a business should be burned to the ground, if they not open source it or Some alternative that is...

    Reply Like 6
    • mb
    • diamond_goldfish
    • 5 mths ago
    • 3
    • Reported - view

    Raphael ,
    was really happy to see a email in my inbox from you (neeo), hoped something go forward. 
    but then read the email and blog post and now i know, you sell us. We now have a end of life product at our home where we spend a lot of money (and time).

    But what i dont understand, you know for month that you will sell neeo to Control4, and there is not a plan that our remotes will keep alive with updates.
    What are you doing? Set the highest priority for the latests improvements we have to expect, on a feature like "multi brain support" ? Realy, or you want kidding us. 
    There are so many features that would make more sense to spend the last time on, than this multi bain support that is useless, because you don't sell more remotes ... 

    If you want make me happy, spend the last 2 years on useful updates ( self teaching or, bluetooth, homekit? ). Make it open-source, so the community can hold this product alive.
    So then you build at least a useful hardware and let the community do YOUR job.

    ---

    have a unopened second remote, maybe @Raphael wants to buy it as a door stopper ?

    Reply Like 3
    • The multibrain feature that we now get sold as great is the lemon that we kindly get from the upcoming collaboration with Control4.

      Reply Like
      • David Hall
      • David_Hall
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Björn Stengel And the knowledge that you actually buy another brain - so if you were waiting for this feature (as I was) then you can't actually get it.


      That said - being up for a punt - if someone wants to sell me a black cat for a reasonable price....

      Reply Like
    • David Hall 

      What would you consider to be a reasonable price for an untouched black cat?

      Reply Like
  • Bummer news but I wanted to add to everyone that you can still get most of what you wanted if you were to use either the openHAB or Niels de Klerk homey plugins for NEEO - you'd get IP control over devices, bluetooth, etc.  Yes more complicated but you have workarounds...

    Reply Like 2
  • Big announcement, weeks, months, oh, months, you get stalled. I wasn't a kickstarter backer, I bought the product as a pre-order for good money and was disappointed because of the unstable and unfinished software.

    I was not a Baker I am a pre-order customer and as a customer with technical understanding, so I can understand problems with StartUps.

    What NEEO does here is an absolute impertinence. I now have a high-quality piece of technology in my hand, with great hardware features that can NEVER be used for lack of the appropriate software. So I paid 100% of something I can't use 50% of.

    Not even the promised basic features were delivered, no the community was kept happy with stretched goals. A complete API, IFTT support etc.. NOTHING was delivered.

    But not only that we can't use now paid and produced hardware, no there is even a scheduled end of life. You can still use the product for 24 months - because we are so nice - then we shut down the essential servers and services, thank you - for nothing.

    And if I look at that further. I've had my NEEO for about a year now - "May" use it for another 24 months, if all goes well and then bye bye. So I have now paid 300 dollars for 36 months of use, that's almost 10 dollars a month.

    That the software becomes OpenSource, we can also say goodbye to that thought. On the one hand Control4 surely took over NEEO to get licenses etc. and on the other hand Control4 doesn't use OpenSource software to expand a community without hardware.

    I read the announcements early this morning and was shocked about such a disrespectful treatment of his previous customers. Even if I can understand the procedure as a businessman, but it was your customers who have accompanied, tested and supported you over the last years. I'm now assuming that you've tried another solution but blocked Control4 here.

    Still, I have never been as disappointed as I am today about a technical product and the way I deal with my customers and I hope that Control4 will understand how big the market is of end customers who wanted to fill a gap with Neeo and now have practically no alternative (except the bad Harmony) how to give up such a potential market is incomprehensible to me.

    Reply Like 4
  • The Neeo remote is an outstanding product.  I hope this change will continue to bring exciting new products to market while supporting those who bought the original Neeo product.  Best wishes for future success.

    Reply Like 1