Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

January 25, 2023

Fewer than 50% of smart appliances are connected to the internet by users and that percentage is too high

Filed under: My Thoughts,Tech Related — Suramya @ 3:04 AM

Smart Appliances or Smart Devices are a pain. Yes, sometimes they make your life easier by allowing you to control your lighting from the bed or switch on your devices remotely but they cause major security problems. There is a term for these ‘smart’ devices: “Internet of Shit”. This refers to all the devices that are connected to the internet that have no business being connected to it. One example is an IoT enabled toilet, Smart Toaster, Smart Mirror etc etc.

There are a lot of potential issues in IoT devices including but not limited to:

  • If the manufacturer decides to shut down the service the device becomes an expensive paperweight
    • Older model Lexus cars lost all remote capabilities because the 3G towers it depended on shut down
    • Older Sonos speakers lost functionality when the company decided to decommission them
    • Tesla car bricked itself because it lost connectivity after owner parked it in a basement.
  • Need a 24×7 active connection
    • People got locked out of their house because a server upgrade was happening
    • During an AWS outage folks were unable to change the temperature using their NEST systems
  • Security Issues: IoT devices are the amongst the most insecure devices out there
  • Lack of Interoperability

and much more. When I bought my AC a couple of years ago I had to argue for a good 15 mins to get a non-smart/internet connected AC. The salesperson couldn’t digest why I wasn’t interested in having a smart AC. A few years later I got a washing machine and there was no option to get a dumb machine, but thankfully it has the option to create a local hotspot that I can connect to from my phone to control the machine. Yeah, it would be more convenient to do it from a distance but guess what I am already next to the machine when I am putting clothes for a wash and it is not that hard to connect to the local AP, start the cycle and then switch back.

A lot of appliance manufacturers bet big on the Smart revolution and according to recent studies are quite surprised to find out that fewer than 50% of their consumers actually connect their smart devices to the internet. The main reason behind it, in my opinion is that there is no major value add for a toaster or a fridge or a toilet to be connected to the internet.

This whole conversation reminded me of the following quote:

Tech enthusiasts: My entire house is smart. Tech workers: The only piece of technology in my house is a printer and I keep a gun next to it so I can shoot it if it makes a noise I don’t recognize.

I am not as bad but nothing at my house is connected to the internet if it doesn’t need to be and then also it is on a separate network isolated from my home machine.

Source: Slashdot: Appliance Makers Sad That 50% of Customers Won’t Connect Smart Appliances

– Suramya

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