I realize this is more of a commentary type thread but I think it is a pretty serious issue with consequences that far outreach what the average “non-savvy” home automator (aka, the usual purchasers of most home automation products) is up against.
View this YouTube video on home automation…HERE
This all hearkens back to a number of Jon’s video’s about home automation control. As we all know, most of the products that you can buy are tethered to ‘momma’ and they will not play at all unless they get to do so. If you were bored enough to spend a crap ton of money (a metric crap ton if you are not in the States) on a Jibo desktop robot, you know exactly what this all means. The company that made the stupid thing (and soaked you for a LOT to get it) went out of business and Jibo basically got stupid(er) because there was no momma to call home to. Imagine spending $50 for a smart bulb. Better yet, for 2 dozen smart bulbs. Then one day you grab your phone and every light in your house is offline and won’t turn on.
People are so enamored by having Alexa or Google around to do their bidding but when she goes on a walkabout and takes your lights, toaster and fridge with her… WTF Chuck? Now what? All that money wasted. And you have to buy it again if you want to play the home game of 'Who owns your home?"
I am so seriously PRO right to repair. And that makes me very pro right to control. I expect ownership of that which I bought. With that in mind, I won’t buy a smart anything if I can’t put my own software on it and make it do my bidding through my own control server. I want nothing to do with the corporately controlled automation server. Another thing I find pretty salient about all this… but not mentioned in the video… is that you know for a FACT that every single bit of data they get from you is resold. He did elude to it I guess when he asked, “What could they possibly know about me? When I heat my home?” YES!!! That is a small piece of data that they don’t need to have. You have to have an account for it to work. That account is attached to your real data (even if they say it is kept anonymously) and I realize this is tinfoil hat territory, but when people want data about the temps they like their homes at, or electricity expenditures for heating or whatever that data can be tied to… you are being sold for marketing revenue. It’s not crazy talk. It’s SOP for most all companies that have pertinent market data.
I will stick to modding firmware and creating my own automation ecosystem. At least, if something goes wrong with the internet at some point, my fridge won’t commit suicide on me.