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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
16143 posts

Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
Best Buy is leaving smart home users in the cold, but its Wi-Fi freezer will still mostly work
quote:

Best Buy has quietly announced that the mobile app platform for controlling its Insignia brand of smart home devices will be shutting down on November 6th. The company says affected products will still function at a basic level, but any features that rely on its Insignia Connect app and platform will no longer work. The products include its Insignia smart wall plugs, Wi-Fi light switches, its smart camera, and its Wi-Fi freezer (yes, a Wi-Fi freezer). Best Buy is now running a reimbursement program for any unfortunate soul who decided to buy one of these products.
quote:

Either way, the situation isn’t ideal for those who’ve bought into the Insignia platform for their smart home needs. This type of quiet shutdown has become an expected and unfortunate trend in the smart home space. Running these platforms in-house can sound like a great, cost-saving idea at first, but doing so over months and years appears to be difficult and costly. Customers are then left hung out to dry when the platforms are inevitably shuttered.
quote:

Of course, putting your smart appliance eggs in a platform basket made by Best Buy is not exactly the savviest of consumer moves. But it shouldn’t be the norm that these software ecosystems are spun up with little thought into how long they’ll last, only to leave customers on the support line clamoring for their money back.


It's very tempting to buy into one of the "ecosystems" (and apparently some people even got tricked into buying into Best Buy's), but it seems like no matter how stable the company or ecosystem is, eventually it's going to shut down.

I urge everyone to research the open solutions before jumping into a closed system. Yes, it is usually more work to get things set up, but worst case you end up learning something and you can rest easy knowing the products you've invested time and money in won't be taken away on a whim.


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
59753 posts

re: Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
see: wink

i would add that as cool as a technology may sound, more often than not if its a startup its going to get clobbered by the Big Boys and either it will get bought or it will be smothered in the market.


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31
SlapahoeTribe
LSU Fan
Tiger Nation
Member since Jul 2012
9209 posts

re: Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
I’m struggling to think what useful features a smart freezer would have?

Reminds me of a tech reviewer who was making fun of the lg smart washer’s remote start feature... considering it doesn’t have remote load, remote start seems pretty fricking useless.


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
49208 posts

re: Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
quote:

I’m struggling to think what useful features a smart freezer would have?
there is one feature i wanted and why i put my freezer in the garage on a smart plug. It is on a GFCI outlet and i wanted to know if it tripped and lost power. So I run a macro that checks the zwave outlet every 5 mins, and if it doesnt talk back it gives me an alert. this really would be the only feature that would be very useful.


WhiskeyThrottle
Member since Nov 2017
872 posts

re: Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
This is a first world use but a WiFi fridge has a camera inside the fridge that allows you to see what is in it so if you’re away from home you can see if you have certain things for a meal. Definitely not worth the extra money, but I routinely buy stuff I have cause I don’t know if I have it.


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TigerinATL
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Feb 2005
51173 posts

re: Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
Is that even an option? It’d be great if IoT devices gave you a self hosting option but most if not all build charging for cloud services into their business model.


mchias1
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2009
317 posts

re: Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
Shelly.cloud

Iot devices from a company in Europe. The owner is very much into local and open source. All their devices support cloud service but you can also do local with MQTT control. They also all have headers to make it easy to flash with open source firmware.

I no longer buy zwave devices. I use wifi devices like Shelly with MQTT.
This post was edited on 9/9 at 8:45 pm


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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
16143 posts

re: Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
quote:

Is that even an option?
Self-hosted IoT? Sure. Look into stuff that works with HomeAssistant, OpenHAB, etc.
quote:

It’d be great if IoT devices gave you a self hosting option but most if not all build charging for cloud services into their business model.
My suggestion is to not buy those products. Unfortunately, currently most advertising dollars are being pumped toward the cloud-based/only devices, but there is a ton of stuff that works locally. As mentioned above, look for things that use MQTT, as that is a sure sign that the device will work locally, and that the data it produces can be consumed however you like, and likewise it will accept commands/data from a variety of sources.

If you really want to get into it, there's a pretty large (and rapidly growing) community of DIY IoT "hackers". Obviously at this point there's not a lot of plug-and-play type stuff that's as easy to set up as the commercial cloud stuff, but I'm confident that if more people start using these open devices then the ease of use will get there.
This post was edited on 9/10 at 8:35 am


guedeaux
USA Fan
Tardis
Member since Jan 2008
12848 posts

re: Yet another reminder to use open software/systems whenever possible
quote:

Look into stuff that works with HomeAssistant, OpenHAB, etc


I'm so glad I switched to HomeAssistant. There was definitely a learning curve, but the shite I can do now is so awesome. Plus, the speed of local control is unbelievable compared to Wink (the only other system I have used).


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