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Hive from British Gas puts heating control in your hand (pictures)

It might not sound like something you want in your airing cupboard, but Hive is a really simple, easy to use smart thermometer.

Nick Hide
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
Nick Hide
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Hive is British Gas' first smart home product, a combination of thermostat and app that lets you turn your heating on from under your duvet -- and lots more.

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It costs £199 including installation, and you get this charming new thermostat to go on your wall.

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It's battery powered, so you can put it anywhere.

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This Hub unit plugs into your wireless router via an Ethernet cable. It connects the thermostat and your boiler to the Internet so you can control the whole shebang via the app.

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My flat is where wireless signal goes to die. This little booster plugs into a socket in my hallway, halfway between Hub and boiler. The British Gas engineer who installed everything provided it free of charge when he couldn't get the system to work.

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You can still plug your hoover in the front, you don't lose a socket.

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This is the little box the engineer installed under the boiler. You don't need to ever touch this.

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This is the Hive app. This lovely colourful orb in the middle of the screen is how you change the temperature of the flat.

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Stroke it up or down and the numbers flow past in a blur, with the colour getting redder the hotter you go.

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Go above the current temperature and your heating comes on. Simple as that.

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The Hive app lets you set up a schedule, so your heating can come on at different times depending on the day of the week. It's rather fiddly, and much easier to set up on the Hive website.

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The app also has a "geolocation" feature that reminds you if you've gone out and left the heating on. It senses where your phone is in comparison to your home, and can turn your heating on if it's cold and senses you coming back.

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