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Cloud-based smart home gadgets continue to become bricks because you can no longer own what you buy

from I’m sorry, I can’t do that, Dave… Department

We’ve pointed out countless ways you no longer actually own what you buy. Whether it’s smart home hardware, it becomes a useless paperweight when the manufacturer implodes. Whether the product you bought yesterday will be the same one you think you own, whether it’s a router or a post-purchase firmware update actively trying to reduce the usefulness of your device. I have no idea. tomorrow.

The latest example is that many people have come to really enjoy using a smart home device called SmartDry. SmartDry attaches to the inside of your dryer drum and connects to your smartphone to tell you when your clothes are actually dry (saving money), when your vents need cleaning, or when there’s a buildup of gas You can let them know (save lives).

Unfortunately, the company behind the device has shut down, leaving fans of the product with a useless cheap gem.

The problem is, SmartDry will alert you to connect to your home Wi-Fi to dry your clothes. The device sent a message to her parent company, Connected Life’s servers, which relayed the message to her smartphone. But Connected Life Labs is shutting down, discontinuing SmartDry, and shutting down its servers on September 30th. After that, “the cloud service will cease operations and the production apps will no longer be supported.”

DIY enthusiast can You buy an ESP32 development board, load your custom code, and set up your own smart home assistant, but few people actually do it. For many people, including those who are deaf, it’s disappointing to say that no other device offers exactly the same functionality.

SmartDry doesn’t cost much (about $25), and its failure creates market opportunities for other smart home device makers. Still, the latest in a long line of devices that rely heavily on one company’s cloud infrastructure can quickly become useless and environmentally wasteful if the original company runs into problems. I’m sorry.

Reliance on cloud servers is a recurring problem with smart home devices. His smart home company, Insteon, seemed to disappear without warning in April. Insteon later blamed the pandemic and the lack of supplies on his chain. In June, a group of enthusiastic customers bought Insteon and revived the service. Shutdowns are more routine in most cases. For example, after an acquisition, service ends, or large companies lose interest in smart home experimentation.

So the real game-changing opportunity lies in creating more resilient systems that can work even if the manufacturer goes bankrupt. Joining the open-source Matter platform, which is expected to launch this fall, will not only unify fragmented standards in the smart home space, but also allow all smart home devices to communicate on a local network without the need for a control gateway. will do so. and hub.

Filed Under: bluetooth, cloud, dryer, ownership, smart home, smart home standard, smartdry, wifi

Enterprise: Connected Life

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