The Dark Side Of The IOT Cloud

John Wechsler
11/08/2017 IN Technology

Today, Logitech announced that it’s shutting down all Harmony link services and will deliberately brick its hubs in March 2018. That puts a sudden end to a whole product line in less than seven years from its release. It reminds me of the shutdown of the Revolv hub last year by Nest (Google), merely three years after it was released. We can also add here the discontinuation of Netgear’s VueZone Cameras that will occur in December of this year.

 

What’s an IOT Device Without The Cloud?

Unlike technology that we voluntarily update every few years; phones, computers, video game consoles, etc. The lifespan and functionality of IOT cloud devices are essentially out of the end-users control. We can sell our old phones on eBay, pass a notebook along to a friend, and continue to play our old Nintendo for years to come. But with a cloud device, the cloud service can be shut down at any time, leaving you with a broken piece of hardware and nothing to show for it. The reasons for bricking these cloud devices vary; company buyout, bankruptcy, mergers, technology license expirations, freeing capital, security exploits that can’t be fixed, the list goes on.

None if this is to say the cloud is intrinsically bad because it’s not. In fact, the cloud has significant benefits when it comes to data storage, office tools, and cost savings, but when it comes to core functionality in a home, like lights, security, hvac, you don’t want to depend on the cloud solely. Home technology is supposed to help you increase home comfort, save energy, and take care of thousands of tasks in and around the house.If consumers are to use this technology in their homes, it has to last for years to come, without the worry of the technology going obsolete in the near future.

 

Reliability and Security of the IOT Cloud?

Another issue that goes beyond a product going obsolete is the sole reliance on the cloud even when the product is working correctly. If your connected home relies solely on an internet connection and a cloud service, you are bound to run into serious problems. The moment the cloud service or your internet goes down you have no access or control to your home. Even worse, the IOT cloud is a vulnerable place where the breach of your data can happen at any time without your knowledge. All in all, a home depending on the cloud is not a smart home at all; it is an expensive and unreliable headache.

 

The Cloud Free Smart Home

At Loxone, we keep the Smart Home cloud free. That means that a Loxone system does not need a connection to a Loxone server to be activated or to run. In fact, every single Loxone system installed on the planet can even run without an Internet connection. While an internet connection and online services can add additional features (like push notifications, remote app connections, and weather data), it is not mandatory, and your system will not stop working just because the internet connection went down.

  • Every single Loxone Miniserver that has been shipped since 2010 still receives the latest update and features today.
  • All Data is securely stored locally on your personal server.

The cloud has been around for decades at this point, and while it can be a useful infrastructure, it should not be the mesh that brings together a smart home. A true smart home is not reliant on the cloud for home automation, instead it is reliant solely on itself, far away from the risks of becoming obsolete that the cloud infrastructure brings.

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