Why not off the shelf? NEST is out to get you

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. :crazy_face: 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. :rofl:


Hay Guru, you are so right about this whole subject of IOT device/data ownership. Even though it might just be temperature data from your thermostat, that data could be used to tell the gas company when you use the most gas and tweak the price a bit. All data has value to someone and I, for one, want to keep control of who has my data and that is, preferably, no one but me.

More importantly, I definitely don’t want to be required to contact some outside authority for permission to control my own property, lights, whatever. I have seen too many companies go out of business, or worse yet, be bought up by a bigger player who wants to monetize an idea or even bury a technology for competitive reasons. Even big companies have been known to discontinue products for unknown reasons, usually having to do with a division sell-off or some other stock driven reason. What the customer is left with is a failed product and a, “We are terribly sorry” notice. Usually, the corporation doesn’t even care, as they are getting out of that segment of the business and contact with that customer base. See you later, NOT.

You, as an IOT customer , have little or no control over what a company does, short of stopping a service and abandoning a product. If your IOT product line is sold, you are likely to receive a notice regarding a change of service terms, which as we know, includes 47 paragraphs of unreadable legalese, followed up by a like it or leave us statement. You get these regularly from the likes of Google, PayPal, etc. and usually just ignore them as something you have no control over. It’s not like you can really check “no thanks” to using Google or Visa or whomever. They are just too embedded in our day to day lives. You just hope you are not getting screwed too badly.

The IOT revolution is the next battleground between corporate interests and “we the people”. I, for one, do not want my refrigerator to develop PTSD due to a dispute between me and Whole Foods Market.