Smart Devices are a poor investment

Found this article on SlashDot.Org and though some might find it interesting.

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Android Police, written by Dhruv Bhutani:As someone who is an early adopter of all things smart and has invested a significant amount of money in building a fancy smart home, it saddens me to say that I feel cheated by the thousands of dollars I’ve spent on smart devices. And it’s not a one-off. Amazon’s recent move to block off local ADB connections on Fire TV devices is the latest example in a long line of grievances. A brand busy wrestling away control from the consumer after they’ve bought the product, the software update gimps a feature that has been present on the hardware ever since it launched back in 2014. ADB-based commands let users take deep control of the hardware, and in the case of the Fire TV hardware, it can drastically improve the user experience. […] A few years ago, I decided to invest in the NVIDIA Shield. The premium streamer was marketed as a utopia for streaming online and offline sources with the ability to plug in hard drives, connect to NAS drives, and more. At launch, it did precisely that while presenting a beautiful, clean interface that was a joy to interact with. However, subsequent updates have converted what was otherwise a clean and elegant solution to an ad-infested overlay that I zoom past to jump into my streaming app of choice. This problem isn’t restricted to just the Shield. Even my Google TV running Chromecast has a home screen that’s more of an advertising space for Google than an easy way to get to my content.

But why stop at streaming boxes? Google’s Nest Hubs are equal victims of feature deterioration. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on Nest Hubs and outfitted them in most of my rooms and washrooms. However, Google’s consistent degradation of the user experience means I use these speakers for little more than casting music from the Spotify app. The voice recognition barely works on the best of days, and when it does, the answers tend to be wildly inconsistent. It wasn’t always the case. In fact, at launch, Google’s Nest speakers were some of the best smart home interfaces you could buy. You’d imagine that the experience would only improve from there. That’s decidedly not the case. I had high hopes that the Fuchsia update would fix the broken command detection, but that’s also not the case. And good luck to you if you decided to invest in Google Assistant-compatible displays. Google’s announcement that it would no longer issue software or security updates to third-party displays like the excellent Lenovo Smart Display, right after killing the built-in web browser, is pretty wild. It boggles my mind that a company can get away with such behavior.

Now imagine the plight of Nest Secure owners. A home security system isn’t something one expects to switch out for many many years. And yet, Google decided to kill the Nest Secure home monitoring solution merely three years after launching the product range. While I made an initial investment in the Nest ecosystem, I’ve since switched over to a completely local solution that is entirely under my control, stores data locally, and won’t be going out of action because of bad decision-making by another company. “It’s clear to me that smart home devices, as they stand, are proving to be very poor investments for consumers,” Bhutani writes in closing. “Suffice it to say that I’ve paused any future investments in smart devices, and I’ll be taking a long and hard look at a company’s treatment of its current portfolio before splurging out more cash. I’d recommend you do the same.”

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I don’t think this dude has completely kept up with the tech market for the past 20 years.

I get the push for the $$ through ad filled streaming boxes and stuff. Get it. They want their $$

There is a commercial/ small voltage security/smart device market and DIY home/ residential style home/smart security market. I think he mixed up those 2 industries. Same with Security Cams. They’re are the “ring style” cams and the product line that is closer to CCTV.

I think he has blurred the line and complained about it. There has always been those 2 lanes that you could play in. Since I’ve been in I.T. for 20 years, I’ve always been in the commercial side of things and stay away from the residential side. Even for my home. Usually people start out in the residential side and then step into the commercial side after they hit HIS point. He’s knocking the residential industry. The residential market is a ever changing market.

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My take on it was what I’ve seen on the side of TV boxes these days.
Essentially says whatever you get when you buy the TV, we can take away if we feel like it.
Ad-libbing there but you get the point.
You could buy a product for a particular feature, and then can take it away.

I don’t know if it’s “taking away” versus locking it down. AND making it apart of the vendor only ecosystem.

Which is a “thing” now with in the residential world.

Dude… it’s 2024. We don’t OWN anything anymore.

Your car, maybe.

A movie? Only on DVD/Bluray!

Ahhh… I miss my childhood when I didn’t own stuff just because I couldn’t afford it…


That’s why I try to only buy stuff I can unlock/run custom OS/custom firmware. I use Linux, Home Assistant, and DIY some of my smart devices. I put up price alerts for physical media I want. I’ve been thinking about hitting some thrift shops too because people tell me they find physical media there at good prices. As far as TV’s go I more and more often look at computer monitors or completely disabling internet.

I’ve got way too many DVDs and CDs from my 40+ years of life (got some VHS tapes around here as well). I still buy a hard copy of a movie if I really enjoy it. I’ve even ordered the Blu-ray of a movie that I was in the middle of watching! Owning physical media is a hard habit to break, but I’ve started indexing many of my DVDs that I don’t mind donating. Thrift shops are great and despite how evil Goodwill is, they’re very cheap there as well. Good luck on your hunting!

I rip all my media and stash it away. I do still have some VHS myself but only rip VHS if it’s irreplaceable like home movies.

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