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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  • Nicht sehr nachhaltig. Hatte grosse Hoffnungen und auch Vertrauen in die Kommitment’s von NEEO.

    Schade.

    Reply Like 1
  • I’ve just realised that some of my posts have gone missing from discussions yesterday and I can’t see any of the contributions made by James Long either; in fact, his account now seems to have been wiped entirely! This doesn’t feel right at all. Has anybody noticed any similar activity?

    Reply Like 3
    • Dillon Moulder in my post the half of the message was deleted... so it was not confirm to the blog rules. i said shame on you mr ... twice. this was deleted.

      Reply Like 3
    • Dillon Moulder I think NEEO also deleted the idea voting thread where someone just raised an idea of a class action lawsuit. Quite sketchy indeed but it's not like I expected anything else from Raphael an NEEO.

      Reply Like 4
      • Dillon Moulder
      • Product Owner
      • Dillon_Moulder
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Patrick Lanz I don’t see any breaches of rules or etiquette associated with this forum. I just see an open discussion from aggrieved customers, and I hope that admin privileges aren’t being abused to control the narrative. What I do know for certain is that James Long would not have deleted his own account mid-conversation; he would have said goodbye and announced his decision if he had chosen to leave. 

      Reply Like 1
  • "fun fact" swiss retailers as Interdiscount, Microspot, Fust etc. sell the remote &brain futhermore!!! tsss...unbelievable...

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

      Patrick Lanz You still get a NEEO at Amazon for only 490 €.

      Reply Like
    • Fonzo bargain! the whole thing is a badass joke. 

      Reply Like
      • Martin Rohner
      • The only easy day was yesterday...
      • Martin_Rohner
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Patrick Lanz I guess these guys are in the same shitty situation as we are, but they have a lot more on stock, so I assume they would like to sell them like hell... ;)

      Although, this might prove quite difficult, since at some of them, there is already a comment about this sell-out...

      Reply Like 3
  • Sad and somewhat disappointing...

    Reply Like
  • For anybody who’s interested, the person pictured to the right is Charlie Kindel , SVP of Products at Control 4. I’d love to hear his thoughts on what’s happening on Planet NEEO right now. I’m sure the rest of the community would too.

    Reply Like 5
  • I get it, Neeo as a company couldn't keep up with the demand of its many loyal users/backers why wouldn't you sell out to a company that offers you what I can only imagine was a "BIG" figure $$$. let's be serious how far have we come from the alpha product we got on delivery?... not far, not worth the money we paid but that's a risk we get when buying any product. the thing I don't agree with is just leaving your loyal customers in the dust quite literally telling us their product worth £350 is more perishable the a can of beans

    good luck with control4, I won't be going with any control4 installers as I disagree with having to pay an installer to put a "lightbulb" in my house

    back to looking for the next stylish DIY remote

     

    Au revoir! from the UK

    Reply Like 2
  • Bob DeVellis said:
    The Neeo remote is an outstanding product.

     How can you said that??? This thing barely works!

    Reply Like 2
  • Reply Like 2
      • Steveeo
      • Steveeo
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Dillon Moulder I particularly like how the Raphael LinkedIn post says he's "so proud of the NEEO AG team who took risk and never gave up," but never mentions the customers who also took risk, footed the bill for the venture, never got the functionality they were sold, and are getting abandoned in 24 months.

      Reply Like 3
    • Steveeo Maybe we should give our version of the story on his LinkedIn profile?

      Reply Like 4
      • Steveeo
      • Steveeo
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Frederik Vancoillie Personally, I don't think LinkedIn is the proper forum for airing dirty laundry. But Raphael could have at least thanked the customers that made it possible for NEEO to survive long enough to get acquired.

      Reply Like 3
    • Steveeo He won't ever do that.  He's a con artist that from the get go never communicated with honesty, never delivered on his promises and never will.  This was probably his plan all along.  He doesn't care for his customers and never has.

      Reply Like 3
    • Schön.... Ich hoffe doch alle vom Team NEEO werden glücklich dabei. Wir werden es sehen, vielleicht in einem Jahr, vielleicht auch später. Plötzliche steht das NEEO Team auf der Strasse wie wir heute als Kunden von NEEO. Werde nie zu übermutig, das erste mal habt ihr euch noch retten können.

      Reply Like
  • Jim Partin said:
    I recall when they announced a partnership with another company but couldn’t say who it was.

    Jim Partin I’m confident that company turned out to be HDAnywhere. Right, Chris Pinder ?

    Reply Like
  • Frederik Vancoillie said:
    Maybe we should give our version of the story on his LinkedIn profile?

    Frederik Vancoillie It’s also far less likely that your account and any posts you make on LinkedIn will mysteriously vanish! 

    Reply Like
  • Jan Pete said:
    Or a real high end solution like AMX or RTI for full customization and programming possibilities

     HSTouch for HomeSeer is for those who would like to bake their own and if you are good at designing graphics, then the sky is the limit.

     

    Eman.

    Reply Like
  • well done, und trotzdem ist es schade. Take care, und starte eine neue 🚀 

    Lg Ivo

    Reply Like
  • By far this was the best universal remote I’ve ever used. Hopefully the design, functionality, and a few minor enhancements will be made available in a new revision of the remote in the future with NEEO and Control4 team. 

    Reply Like 1
  • Raphael

    Niels de Klerk received the first NEEO; it is only fitting that he receives the last NEEO.

    Reply Like 11
    • Paul Spee  +1

      Reply Like
    • Paul Spee Why in the world would he want it?  He has to be more disappointed than anyone after all of the thought and guidance he provided.

      Reply Like 2
    • Edley Jones 

      I fully agree with you, when you look at it from Niels perspective. I still think NEEO should do it as a token of their appreciation.

      Reply Like 2
  • From the point of entrepreneurship this is a reasonable move, but the problem is that you @Raphael had another vision in mind and you told us selling the company would not be happen. The lack of features you promised and this typical startup "everything is awesome" blah-blah is the real reason the people are frustrated. You had a good vision for a wonderful product and now you pull the plug and let us stand in the rain, after we initially payed your success. A more grounded communication with fair, self reflected content and respect for the community would have been more helpful. Many startups are very similar to politicians, unfortunately.

    Sorry, I'm pissed.

    Reply Like 4
    • Kurt
    • Kurt.1
    • 5 mths ago
    • 8
    • Reported - view

    You cheated us, call it whatever you want but you cheated us.  We were used to start up a company to sell and we got NOTHING in return.  The one device I asked to add was never add (saying it has no remote, what a lie as it is here next to me).  Open the firmware to the public.  

    Reply Like 8
    • Fonzo
    • Fonzo
    • 5 mths ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view
    • Fonzo  yes.. i wrote them yesterday... They should made a article about that!!

      Reply Like 1
  • Extremely disappointing -- years of hype, finally a product, then it's put on life support, and now that's gone, too. Can I say "sell out"?

    Reply Like 4
  • I look to the future: In three, maybe six, months Control4 will offer a universal remote control for all devices. With great features like full Bluetooth support, hand detection, customizable user interface, IFTTT support and much more. The only ones who still notice this are the small rest of Neeo enthusiasts who don't attract enough attention on their own.

    Then we know what the Neeo team has really been working on over the last few months and that all the features we've been waiting for have already been developed but have gone exclusively to Control4 because of the deal.

    That will be the real reason why we've been waiting months for updates and nothing happened.

    Reply Like 2
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 5 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Björn Stengel  Then we know what the Neeo team has really been working on over the last few months and that all the features we've been waiting for have already been developed but have gone exclusively to Control4 because of the deal.

       

      Sure that is how it will happen if 25 people work full time and there is nothing meaningful in a firmware update at outcomes, then work either zero effectively or even exclusively for the new buyer Control4. Now, for any device that is completely controlled over IP or Bluetooth, you can sell an extension from Control4 to the Control4 user group for a lot of money per device and earn so much more.

      This only shows that NEEO were never honest with the buyers of the NEEO remote and ultimately only needed the money to then reach the goal of selling the product at the end to an elite circle that has enough money.

      But it's just easier to deal with the 10% of people who own 85% of the world's assets, and the money for such a remote and working device does not matter much instead of dealing with the average user or tech enthusiast or Kickstarter user. The end user for whom the device was originally intended and advertised, is willing to spend an amount of money on such a device but does not want to pay extra for each device that he wants to operate and to control with the remote. No, the regular customer is just "annoying" for the former company NEEO, because he pays money only once and then actually expects the features advertised by the company to work as well.

      Reply Like 4
    • Fonzo 

      If it had come to pass as announced in the last announcement, everything would have been fine. I also think that the whole Neeo community would be happy to receive the parts that will be finished for Control4. But that we're left with a bunch of empty promises and have bought hardware that we can never even use in the direction of those promises frustrated.

      Why not use Control4 to serve the pro market and resell Neeo to the end customers. Simply because I believe Control4 wanted exclusive rights and you'd rather break your promises than think of those who helped you get a foothold.

      Neeo wanted $50,000 in his Kickstarter campaign, you got $1.5 million from the community, that's 30 times the target. Add to that the regular orders and what did we get for it?

      By the way, as far as I know, the Neeo team currently has 25 developers. Since I am a developer myself, I ask myself what this team has really created in the last few months, because the last list of changes is far too little for the time period and the manpower.

      Reply Like 5
  • Patrick wasn't honest when NEEO was a Kickstart project: his promises about features and timeline were not true. He has written way to enthusiastic about NEEO, without keeping in mind the feelings of buyers. And so his announcement about joining Control 4 is about him and his people, not seeing or understanding (?) what this means for the NEEO population. And to call them 'friends' in this context I truly can't understand; it's just offensive.

    Reply Like 3
    • Bernard Cooper
    • Software Tester / Tech Enthusiast / Disenchanted KS NEEO backer
    • Bernard_Cooper
    • 5 mths ago
    • 7
    • Reported - view

    Wow....  NEEO only managed to limp as far as release 0.53.8 (meaning you're technically still in Beta) before you found a way to cash out.  Yay for you I suppose?

    I could understand the move if you had reached 1.x and had a consumer-ready device but you haven't.  I feel sorry for people buying this at retail only to find out the state of the software.  I haven't even unboxed mine yet as I was waiting for the software to mature.  Now you tell us our devices will be more or less bricked / unable to add new devices once you turn off the servers.  (On a side note: why do companies insist on building this sort of redundancy into their devices.  My fridge won't stop working if the manufacturer goes out of business!)

    These words will no doubt fall on deaf ears but I sincerely hope you or your new task masters have a change of heart and give the NEEO community what they were promised all those years ago in the Kickstarter campaign.  The failure or buy-out of a KS company can go the Pebble way (go out with some dignity and do right by your backers) or the way OSSIC / Bonjour / Yarra / [insert campaign of your choice] have gone.

    I think a better title for this post would have been: ' So long, and thanks for all the fish'

    #Disappointed
    #Disillusioned

    Reply Like 7
    • mjoe
    • Joerg_Mattiello
    • 5 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Unfortunately, the story overall was out of their league / eine Schuhnummer zu gross. You have to keep this in mind by backing startups. Most of them will fail, just a few have the setting to succeed. Finally, the not kept promisies are always the bitterest pills of all.

    Reply Like 1
  • This is a real shame, I absolutely love this product and it's potential has still yet to be fulfilled, I'm hoping some out there, potentially myself included, will be able to keep it going past the 24months, and hopefully make it better still too.

    Reply Like 3
  • I may have missed this but does anybody know what happens after 2 years?

    • No support from helpdesk?
    • Hardware will stop working sue to reliance on cloud services?
    • No new devices can be added?

    My personal view is that Im pretty happy with what Neeo gives me right now although much of this has been my own doing via the sdk but appreciate this is not for everyone. As long as it still works, i will be happy enough - until as mentioned the battery starts giving problems but that's a different matter. 

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

      Stuart Trout what happens after 2 years?

      No support from helpdesk?

      yes.

      • Hardware will stop working sue to reliance on cloud services?

      Yes, if not something should change fundamentally but since this was the last firmware that was released this is more than likely. At least you cannot change anything in an existing setup.

      • No new devices can be added?

      The only devices that can be added are a self-written driver and the control via IP. Because there is no possibility to convert IR codes into an NEEO format and import them into the NEEO brain you will not be able to use any new IR devices, if not something should change fundamentally, but since this was the last firmware version that is unlikely.

      Reply Like
    • Fonzo 

      • Hardware will stop working sue to reliance on cloud services?

      Yes, if not something should change fundamentally but since this was the last firmware that was released this is more than likely. At least you cannot change anything in an existing setup.

      are you saying that i cant amend a recipe or add a device (sdk device) without internet access and connectivity to the NEEO servers?

       

      Stu

      Reply Like
    • Stuart Trout Yes, IR codes are stored on their servers so you can't add devices in 24 months.

      Reply Like
    • Frederik Vancoillie 

      Not entirely correct - while you can't do it natively, you could use the global cache driver to add IR contolled devices to NEEO for as long as the hardware works (in fact, you also gain the ability to learn IR codes as well).  That's not to mention other solutions as welll (openHAB, homey, etc)

      Reply Like
    • Tim Roberts How would using the global cache driver work?

      Reply Like
    • Geert Van Der Linden 

      Steps:

      1. Download the driver from https://github.com/tmrobert8/neeo-sdk-examples (makes sure you change the 'branch' to the global cache branch - then download the device/globalcache directory to where you run your SDK devices

      2. In the definitions directory - create a 'name.ir' (for IR devices) and add the various commands to it (look at the Lutron example - you need itach/global cache IR codes - easily googleable).

      3. Start the SDK and search for "global cache" (or "itach") and you'll see your device as 'IP2IR name' - then it will discovery your globalcache/itach device to use

      Reply Like
    • Tim Roberts thanks for the info. I’ve been following your SDK work (and that of Niels) for a while now. Not sure whether the death of NEEO makes coupling it even more relevant (continued support for IR devices) or whether there is no point in investing in it because eventually the remote will die without any possibility of fixing it ...

      Reply Like
  • I'm curious, does anyone know what the NEEO Pro with Brain would have retailed for?

    Reply Like