Nest, a Google-owned company, will deliberately break one of its own products come May 15. The company has announced plans to disable Revolv, a hub that allows customers to electronically control lights in their homes. Entrepreneur Arlo Gilbert raises some important questions: Google/Nest's decision raises an interesting question. When software and hardware are intertwined, does a warranty mean you stop supporting the hardware or does it mean that the manufacturer can intentionally disable it without consequence? Tony Fadell seems to believe the latter. Tony believes he has the right to reach into your home and pull the plug on your Nest products. [...] To be clear, they are not simply ceasing to support the product, rather they are advising customers that on May 15th a container of hummus will actually be infinitely more useful than the Revolv hub. Google is intentionally bricking hardware that I own. That's a pretty blatant "fuck you" to every person who trusted in them and bought their hardware. They didn't post this notice until long after Google had made the acquisition, so these are Google's words under Tony Fadell's direction. Revolv was acquired by Nest in 2014, and it is believed that all Nest wanted from the acquisition was talent and workforce. An older version of Revolv website reveals that its hub was marketed to have "free lifetime service subscription," "free monthly updates for additional device support," and "free future firmware updates to automatically activate new radios." James Grimmelmann, a professor of Law, tweeted, "I didn't realize that Revolv promised free lifetime service. That makes the shutdown a deceptive trade practice as well as an unfair one." Aaron Parecki, co-founder of IndieWebCamp, wrote, "Your friendly reminder that without open standards, you're not "buying" smarthome hardware, you're renting it."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.