I have discussed both the acquisition and shutdown announcements on Home: On, and it’s a frustrating situation for sure. I’ve even written about Nest’s unapologetic messaging. As Stacey Higginbotham has commented, this could have been handled more gracefully.
But if Revolv owners—particularly tech-savvy ones who support crowd-funded projects—didn’t see the writing on the wall when the company was acquired by Nest, I think they weren’t paying attention. Revolv has been on life support for a year and a half, and it likely would have faded away quietly if this very post hadn’t received the media attention it did during a time when negative Nest sentiment is getting good press.
I’m not apologizing for Nest. In fact, I believe they should swiftly reverse this decision in light of all the damage it could be doing now. But I also believe we need to be realistic. Any device that depends on cloud/hosted services has a built-in half-life. Maybe companies need to communicate that—or define service-level agreements for their customers. And as Stacey’s post also points out, companies should plan for that. A few months back, it was unclear whether the far more popular Wink hub was long for this planet, and you have to wonder if Staples is considering plans to euthanize its well-designed but poorly marketed Connect hub.
I attended an interesting panel at SXSW about public policy issues surrounding IoT. There are many consumer protection issues that need to be identified and discussed in this space. Maybe this is one of them.