One of the biggest hang-ups about smart home products is which technology is going to come out on top. No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a product that's going to disappear in two years, so naturally some people are waiting for the market winners, like the Comcast and Verizon of the smart home space.
Wired writer Klint Finley makes the case that this is exactly why purchasing smart home products is still a risky investment, and highlights Nest's shutdown of Revolv, its cloud-based smart home hub, as his primary example.
Nest stopped selling Revolv after Google acquired the company in 2014, but for those who had already bought, it's at least still usable. However, Finley makes the case that stopping Revolv all together makes consumers wonder 'what else are they going to stop?'
Asked whether we can expect a similar lifespan from other Nest products, such as its Nest protect smoke detectors, Dropcam cameras, and its flagship thermostats, a company spokesperson pointed out even its oldest thermostats from 2011 still receive software updates. That’s a cold comfort for Revolv customers who bought a device in September of 2014. The problem is that it’s hard to know which ones will still work and which ones won’t. Today Nest is committed to keeping its products working, but tomorrow it might decide the money it spends on the cloud service that supports its Protect line would be better spend elsewhere. Suddenly your $100 smoke detectors would be no more useful than the perfectly good $10 ones you threw out.