Insteoff

There are so many gadgets and ecosystems and companies providing services these days and it’s inevitable that some (or many) will fail. Going out of business is part of doing business. Most companies don’t last forever. However, there is a glaring problem with this: companies that make products that depend on the company still operating.

Enter Insteon, one of many home automation platforms out there. Stacey Higginbotham over at Stacey on IOT provides details on how the Insteon automation platform may have been permanently shut down.

I’m getting reports from dozens of Insteon users that as of Friday their smart home hubs have stopped working… However, this means thousands of Insteon users, who I know as a vocal and pretty satisfied bunch, will be left with gear that doesn’t work. Insteon does provide local control of its smart lights and nodes through hubs in the home, but there are plenty of cloud components to get the system to talk to Alexa or Google. Last year, an outage in Insteon’s AWS cloud frustrated users for several days.

Stacey On IOT

With the Insteon platform down or providing degraded service, it can be infuriating that physical objects we paid for and have in our homes become bricks. I personally had a connected toy for my children that became a brick because the company that made it shut its doors overnight. Any time the toy was turned on, it would attempt to connect to its servers, failed, then would do nothing.

The tech landscape is littered with these now-brick gadgets. Anki, Pebble, Jibo, Revolv, and on and on. All had leaders with big ideas. All failed for various reasons. Everyone who bought into it is now stuck with plastic crap that doesn’t work.

I’d watched a Jibo review on the Mr. Mobile YouTube channel and Michael Fisher said something important: the time has come to no longer buy tech that is dependent on an internet connection. I agree wholeheartedly. I think that every Insteon owner now would agree with that too.

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