Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

What Happens When a Smart Home Vendor Goes Away and Takes Its Servers With It?

Stacey Higginbotham:

Lilleness is a former executive at Nokia who lives in Seattle and invested $7.3 million in the Smartlabs business before taking on his leadership role at the company. At the time he expressed optimism that Insteon’s proprietary technology could become the underpinning of a big shift to smarter homes. However, the adoption of proprietary technologies such as Insteon didn’t pan out as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee prevailed. And now, with the looming launch of the Matter smart home interoperability standard, Insteon’s core tech will be even further marginalized.

However, this means thousands of Insteon users, who I know as a vocal and pretty satisfied bunch, will be left with gear that doesn’t work. Insteon does provide local control of its smart lights and nodes through hubs in the home, but there are plenty of cloud components to get the system to talk to Alexa or Google. Last year, an outage in Insteon’s AWS cloud frustrated users for several days.

I am feeling confident in my skepticism of smart home devices. I can only hope this market does not go the way of smart TVs.