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.
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 UKReply
Regarding this announcement, there are plenty of celebrations underway on LinkedIn, just not from or involving affected NEEO customers:Reply
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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'
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