Rich Freeman on 22 Jul 2013 04:23:50 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] /. Home Automation Kit...

On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 11:30 PM, Julien Vehent <> wrote:
> So, I've been reading all of the answers to my initial question (thank you
> all, by the way :)) and there's one thing I don't get: all these companies
> are building potentially innovative home automation tools, that requires me
> to log into their infrastructure to change stuff in my home.
> What's the added value of that? Why can't I just log into my thermostat
> directly and change stuff?

Well, the company gets data that might help improve their product, or
which they might be able to monetize in some way.  They can also turn
around and start charging for remote access or something ridiculous
like that if they need money.  It is also easier to support (no
explaining firewall rules on every brand of consumer router to Aunt
Tilly).  So, it is easy to see why companies selling these things
design them that way.

I'm actually a fan of most cloud-based designs in the abstract.  The
only place they go wrong is with who controls the server.  Frankly I
think the FOSS application world is far too cloud-averse (OS distros
embrace it, but few applications have done so).  I've pined here
before about the lack of any FOSS software that effectively competes
with Gmail.

However, if anything like that is to exist it will need to be a
volunteer effort.  No company is going to build a product that is
designed to appeal mostly to people who can deploy a server and make
it internet-accessible in a secure fashion.  That is a potential
audience of tens of thousands, and right now these companies are
struggling to monetize a market of tens of millions.

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