19 votes

Nest, the company, died at Google I/O 2019

11 comments

  1. [9]
    balooga Link
    I love the idea of a smart home but haven't personally taken the plunge with any IoT devices just yet. Frankly, I don't think I will unless I can have full control of them. I'm constantly reading...

    I love the idea of a smart home but haven't personally taken the plunge with any IoT devices just yet. Frankly, I don't think I will unless I can have full control of them. I'm constantly reading stories about cloud services going dark, improperly securing both devices and customer data, and overcollecting/monetizing said data in shady ways. No thanks! On top of all that, that last thing I want is to pay ongoing subscriptions just to use the household appliances I've already purchased.

    I'm actually really eager to automate parts of my home. I just need to find secure and open technologies that I can deploy and own myself.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      krg Link Parent
      You might want to look into Home Assistant, if you haven't already.

      You might want to look into Home Assistant, if you haven't already.

      7 votes
      1. balooga Link Parent
        Ooooh thank you! I've been looking into the Mycroft platform as an alternative to commercial voice assistants. This may be another good building block for my dream smart home solution.

        Ooooh thank you! I've been looking into the Mycroft platform as an alternative to commercial voice assistants. This may be another good building block for my dream smart home solution.

        3 votes
    2. [5]
      mrbig (edited ) Link Parent
      I don't care for smart homes. Unless I'm getting a truly mind-blowing functionality that will quite literally change my life, I don't like the idea of getting dependent on a bunch of sophisticated...

      I don't care for smart homes. Unless I'm getting a truly mind-blowing functionality that will quite literally change my life, I don't like the idea of getting dependent on a bunch of sophisticated devices that will eventually fail, requiring expensive replacements. When my bedroom lamp dies, I like the fact that I can just get a one dollar replacement at any Wall Mart. I don't mind a few wires and hitting a few switches in order to do what I want - it is honestly not the worst thing in the world. Unlike voice controls, buttons work almost 100% of the time and don't require me to adjust my accent, volume, phrasing or tone of voice. I probably won't "smarticize" my life until these devices become as reliable and cheap as their dumb counterparts. And this may take some time.

      7 votes
      1. Octofox Link Parent
        I'm feeling similar. I can think of lots of things I would like to try with smart homes but really its just a toy to show off to friends. There are very few real benefits I can think of with...

        I'm feeling similar. I can think of lots of things I would like to try with smart homes but really its just a toy to show off to friends. There are very few real benefits I can think of with current IoT tech and they are not worth the downsides.

        3 votes
      2. [3]
        Cosmos Link Parent
        Not to mention that pushing buttons is FUN! That's why we've gone out of our way to install buttons that don't even do anything. I don't know what it is, but there is something much more...

        Unlike voice controls, buttons work almost 100% of the time and don't require me to adjust my accent, volume, phrasing or tone of voice.

        Not to mention that pushing buttons is FUN! That's why we've gone out of our way to install buttons that don't even do anything.

        I don't know what it is, but there is something much more satisfying about pushing a button to do something rather than telling a robot, or even touching a screen.

        3 votes
        1. mrbig Link Parent
          Absolutely. As a gamer, I was always skeptic about things like Kinect... like other control hand control interfaces, a well-designed gamepad is a joy to use.

          Absolutely. As a gamer, I was always skeptic about things like Kinect... like other control hand control interfaces, a well-designed gamepad is a joy to use.

          1 vote
        2. mrbig Link Parent
          I just remembered of an unfortunate discussion I had with my algorithms professor. He showed a promotional video from Microsoft demonstrating several technological predictions, and one of them was...

          I just remembered of an unfortunate discussion I had with my algorithms professor. He showed a promotional video from Microsoft demonstrating several technological predictions, and one of them was the replacement of physical keyboards with touch interfaces projected on whatever surface you're working on, such as tables and walls. I argued that physical keyboards are not something to get rid off, and that a lot of design and engineering goes into making them efficient and comfortable for our fingers. It did not go well.

          1 vote
    3. AugustusFerdinand Link Parent
      The only home automation system I'm interested in is disconnected and deliciously retro/vintage in ways that makes this old man happy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BHIknNa6Eg

      The only home automation system I'm interested in is disconnected and deliciously retro/vintage in ways that makes this old man happy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BHIknNa6Eg

      2 votes
  2. Algernon_Asimov Link
    If I wasn't already inclined against installing surveillance devices in my home for large corporations to monitor everything I say and do... this would have pushed me away. I hadn't fully...

    The somewhat good news is that most smart home products are compatible with multiple smart home ecosystems, so it should be rare for something to turn into a complete brick. You'll just have to switch to a new ecosystem, go through a ton of setup, and be ready to deal with all the things that won't work the same way they worked before.

    If I wasn't already inclined against installing surveillance devices in my home for large corporations to monitor everything I say and do... this would have pushed me away. I hadn't fully considered the implications of the fact that hardware is backed by software and software is changeable - and ultimately revocable. This is Amazon's '1984' all over again.

    Buying something no longer means you have the ability to use it until the end of its life. This reveals that a company can decide to remove the software and turn your device into a brick (Google doesn't have to migrate the Nest devices to a Google platform - it could just shut down the Nest platform and leave those customers hanging). I do not want to be forced to upgrade/switch/replace a device every few years because one company has bought another company, or because a company decides to implement forced obsolescence so you'll buy another device to replace something you might otherwise use for many years. I have a microwave oven I bought nearly 30 years ago, which still works. That sort of thing is going to stop now. A smart microwave oven can be turned into a brick at any time, just because the company I bought it from wants to sell more microwave ovens. Nope. Not this little black duck. I'm not signing up for this.

    7 votes
  3. DevNull Link
    As a software geek my only interest in smart home stuff is in seeing what kinda software I can build and what kinda crazy shiat I can make it do! But as part of daily life, my personal view is...

    As a software geek my only interest in smart home stuff is in seeing what kinda software I can build and what kinda crazy shiat I can make it do! But as part of daily life, my personal view is that it's a case of just because I can do a thing doesn't mean I should. (yes I'm aware of the contradiction lol)

    I've spent the past 16 months learning about the awesomeness of the Raspberry Pi lineup and other tiny computers, along with the software to run them, and I'm absolutely loving it so far! Other than having to write Java code LOL I saw a tiny Linux-running computer the other day that was literally embedded in an ethernet port - you'd never know it was a fully operational (with wifi) computer to look at it it!
    One of the projects I started lets the user remotely control whatever is connected to the Pi - via their cell phone or any browser. One intended target product: the smart bird bath :-) (no I'm not joking, it's real)
    So yeah I kinda dig the technology involved, but I'd never use it in my home.

    And PS: I am all kinds of giggly about Google's Inbox being killed already. Yet another example of some cool ideas being done because they're cool not because they help the user in any way.

    2 votes