RIP, devices connected to the cloud – EEJournal


The clouds are ephemeral, pass quickly as far as the eye can see, carried away by the lightest breezes. Apparently, cloud-based products are too.

Consumer giant Samsung has decided to refine its entire SmartThings product line, starting with users’ home hubs. Since last week, SmartThings hubs have stopped working. They are essentially bricked because, like all cloud-based services, they navigate according to the whims of the host business. Samsung decided it no longer wanted to create and support SmartThings products, so it just blew them away.

This, despite the fact that SmartThings has some 62 million active users, with tens of millions of registrations each year, according to Samsung’s SmartThings engineering manager Mark Benson.

“Your SmartThings hub… will no longer work, but the SmartThings app will still allow you to monitor and control Wi-Fi or cloud-connected devices that you may have set up in your home,” explains Samsung’s official statement. “However, without a SmartThings hub, you will no longer be able to automate and control Zigbee, Z-Wave or LAN devices.” Not really a smart home system, then.

This event does not follow too far after Google’s similar move to kill its Nest Secure home security service and its Android Things operating system. And the startup Nucleus deciding that their home intercom / tablet really shouldn’t work anymore. And PC games suddenly disappear. And kitchen gadgets or security cameras or reception centers this self-ransom. Or brick security cameras. It gets old. And predictable.

Like beer, we don’t actually own any cloud-connected products, we just rent them out. The latest example is Peloton, a manufacturer of expensive exercise bikes and treadmills. Part of what sets a Peloton apart from that rusty old stationary bike in your parents’ garage is the built-in LCD display that shows live exercise classes led by your favorite instructor and new best friend. There is of course an additional subscription for this.

And now a subscription for do not watch them. For $ 40 more / month, Peloton will allow you not to look at its instructors. What generosity. How much does it cost not to buy a Platoon? Maybe Lamborghini also has a sale on don’t buy exotic cars. It must cost a bundle.

It could be worse. You could have had a Flywheel stationary bike with its own streaming service. But those everything has been built a year ago – by Peloton.

Speaking of subscriptions, the maker of crafting machines Cricut decided to institute one of their own. Starting next year, the owners (and we use that term broadly) of Cricut Maker cutting machines need to pay monthly fee to use the company’s Design Space software, which is of course compulsory to use the machine. Ignoring Fees places an arbitrary limit on the number of times users can upload designs. To their own machines. Previously, anyone could use them as much as they wanted. Imagine.

Home appliance makers take a page from their desktop printers, so to speak. Now even dishwashers are equipped with DRM to prevent unauthorized detergents. Say hello to Bob, a miniature countertop dishwasher the size of a large toaster or small desktop computer. Bob uses custom detergent cassettes instead of liquid soaps or standard tablets. Of course, cassettes are only available from the manufacturer, they are protected by hardware DRM to prevent overfilling, and They are expensive.

Do you think this is weird? How about the charcoal barbecue that uses its own exclusive charcoal insertions? The company calls them, without any trace of irony, Briqs.

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