Smart home platform Wink will require a monthly subscription starting May 13, 2020

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MichaelCG

Very Senior Member
Wow....week’s notice. This is one of my concerns about several of the platforms. What will they do when people stop buying so many hubs. I am a SmartThings user and have always wondered what their longer term business mode is. Guess it is either follow Wink or just collect and sell my data.


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Razor512

Very Senior Member
It really seems like they are hoping to add diamond and platinum accents to their golden parachute by getting extra money from the few users who will engage in the sunk cost fallacy where because they don't want hundreds of dollars in hardware to become a brick, they may pay the ransom for some time.

The rest of the users will leave the service entirely, allowing the company to scale back on the server side resources. If they are not doing much updating, then there is pretty much no R&D overhead either, then it will be really cheap to service the remaining customers, thus an astronomical profit margin.
During that time, the company can then scramble to see who would be willing to buy it at an inflated price, while using the insane margin as a selling point. After that, whoever is stuck with it, will shut it down shortly after and liquidate whatever they can and profit from whatever IP remains.
 
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tipstir

Very Senior Member
Subscription ouch... I am glad what I use doesn't require that service. I still feel I paid for it every time I buy a new smart device from the same joint partnership with the merchant retail superstore chain. To sell these smart devices at a right price to get consumers to buy them in huge numbers then would have to worry about subscriptions prices would be a turn off. But everything smart is in the cloud and those cloud servers are not cheap to run and without them you can kiss goodbye to all these smart devices that have to fall-back on them. AI's as well.
 

Razor512

Very Senior Member
One issue with those cloud reliant designs the such a strong thirst for planned obsolescence that they will increase points of failure, complexity and unsustainable infinite growth models, all to have a way of shortening product lifespans without introducing unpredictability from using unreliable components, (e.g., when some companies used capxon branded capacitors).

Most of the restrictions for local access, makes for a more expensive service. For example, cloud reliant cameras where they make sure that you cannot stream from the camera locally, thus they end up with a service where each camera has to upload video to a remote server at 2Mbps just so you can connect to the remote server and stream from it at 2Mbps. It is insanely wasteful when the device with the video feed is literally on your local network and all you want to do is view the live feed. You then end up with a lesser experience as you now have bad latency and a huge delay compared to what is happening in real time. Those restrictions are often just in place so that you cannot run your own NVR using their cameras.

The overall issue is that it creates an unsustainable business model where after you reach market saturation, the only way to keep the business running is to hold the hardware ransom (what wink did), or Offer a "free" cloud service but EOL the devices after a while and try to force those users to upgrade to a new device that will have a 900% profit margin, and just repeat every few years.

Imagine if they did a cloud enhanced model instead where hardware is sold without the insane markup. At a free tier, you could have products like a camera essentially use the cloud server to just maintain an up to date dynamic IP, and just help facilitate a peer to peer connection to the cloud device on your network if you are away from home. Then the cloud can be for paying for redundancy such as offsite storage for the video, thus extremely low bandwidth usage, and if the servers die, the product will still be functional.

Overall the issue is companies using cloud even when it is not needed, and would actually provide a better experience to just allow direct access to the device.
 

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