Pop quiz: when developing your first connected device for the Internet of Things, do you build a product that speaks to other products through:
a) a home automation hub;
b) the cloud; or
c) a telephone landline so every time you connect it, you hear this:
Back in 2014, the answer was a. That’s when Nest bought Revolv, which had created an expensive, but good, scalable, smart home hub for consumers. At $299 each, Revolv was the answer to home automation with a major selling point of being compatible with Nest.
Yet Nest bought the company strictly for the platform and has now told customers who bought this expensive hub that they will no longer support it or provide updates on it. You can hear more about this recent news on Stacey Higginbotham’s insightful podcast.
So how can you avoid pulling a Revolv and render your product useless in just a couple of years? The answer is b. Using the cloud, you no longer need an external, local controller like a hub for machine to machine (M2M) communication. (This is of course, is how DADO works too.)
The Revolv news also brings up more questions about the future of IoT, including how this affected consumer confidence in IoT. Buyers of Revolv were rightfully frustrated with the company’s decision, especially so soon after investing in such an expensive device. It was kind of a big deal in the IoT world.
However, the whole essence of IoT is consumer-driven. The idea was created based on what consumers want, how they interact with their devices, how they live. So it’s no surprise that Revolv and Nest are following through with their customers by providing full refunds for the now-defunct product. The message is clear: early adopters beware but will not be forgotten.
And back to the quiz: when looking at options for developing your next connected product, consider your partners. Will they be dependable? Will they deliver? Will they support my vision for the future? A partner that helps you plug into the cloud instead of another piece of hardware will certainly be a great place to start.