Published on 2022-08-18

Smart Camera

Delivering an IOT smart camera

Looking into a camera lens

Connected Homes, entirely owned by Centrica, focuses on building IoT devices that help customers save energy and secures their home. They provide these devices through the Hive brand and operate in the UK, US and other European regions.


Connected Homes were creating an indoor security camera which was the first, in a line of security products being offered by Connected Homes. The manufacture and production of this product along with the relevant application upgrades to the Hive mobile application needed to be completed by June 2017.

Due to ongoing issues with licensing and availability of components for the camera the delivery date started to slip to January 2017. Connected Homes started to look at alternative security cameras that could for the original deadline of June 2017.

We had been working in Connected Homes for 18 months delivering an agile transformation for the My Energy programme. This was a British Gas funded programme designed to deliver data insights on energy bills for British Gas customers. The transformation programme was coming into final stages and we were in a monitoring stage as teams started to take ownership and accountability.

The CTO asked for our help to deliver the new camera by June 2017 and this was a date that could not be missed. The only details we received about the programme was a £8 million budget and the rest was down to us.


Our Delivery Lead moved from My Energy to this project and started to define the success criteria for June 2017, working with the Hive Camera Architect and Product Owner the following criteria was agreed:

  • Find a supplier who could offer a white labelled camera that meets our product requirements
  • Agree the commercials with the supplier and ensure they are onboarded on the Centrica procurement systems
  • Place first camera order for 30,000 cameras, spread across UK and US
  • Working with the supplier produce a Hive branded Camera application on Android and iOS
  • Manufacture the packaging for the camera using the new Hive branded logos
  • Ensure the operational readiness had been completed and all support engineers had been fully trained to support the camera
  • Build a software delivery team to enhance the existing Hive application to include the Camera app functionality, for phase 1 we would use a white label application from the supplier

Working closely with procurement and the legal teams we shortlisted a potential list of suppliers before agreeing on the final supplier. By mid-March we had agreed a £4 million contract with our chosen supplier and work on the camera began. Alongside this we also onboarded a 6 person development team to start the enhancement work for the Hive application. Delivery of this work was scheduled for December 2017 as part of the second phase.

During March we started working with marketing and branding teams on the new Hive branded packaging. This came with a number of challenges that were quickly overcome by a close working group meeting daily to review designs and also the packaging material. Over the next month packaging was produced and sent for drop testing as the majority of sales for this product would be done online. Therefore we needed to ensure the packaging could withstand the shipping process.

Our supplier was based in South Korea with product manufacturing in China. With the quick turnaround times required for this project, our Delivery Lead along with the Hive Architecture altered their working times to attend online meetings in South Korea, China and UK. This allowed rapid development of the camera as well as the white labelled software. By April, prototypes of the camera and software had been received by the UK test team.

Camera and software reviews were held every day, feedback on the camera was sent back to China and within two weeks a new camera was received for review. The camera review process was completed early May as well as signing off on the software. Software review was closely managed with the teams in the UK and South Korea with two review sessions happening per day.

During May, package testing and translation of manuals, into five different languages, had been completed and the product was boxed up and shipped to the relevant countries. The final stage was for us to work with Finance to ensure the relevant tax and levies were paid on time to ensure the products could be shipped into the US. For the initial order of cameras into the US this went through air freight whilst the remaining order was sent by shipping container.


The feeling within Hive during January was that this could never have been achieved within a 4-5 month time frame. However, with the support from the business this was proved otherwise. The first batch of cameras were received within the Hive office by the end of May 2017 well ahead of the June 2017 delivery date.

Cameras were distributed to the press for review, see links below. As well as the Hive Camera being part of roadshow to secure $50-$100 million investment into the Connected Home business.

The camera went on sale to the public on the 29th June and sold more units on the first day than any other Hive product. The product has had steady sales in both the US and UK markets.

Hive launched the Hive view camera in January 2018 however the Hive Camera is still being sold as an entry level camera through the Hivehome website.