Logitech bricks devices just a few years in

It's easy to understand why people are hesitant to buy Internet of Things devices when things like this happen: Logitech is bricking its Harmony Link device in 2018 when a security certificate expires.

Instead of just issuing a small update and extending its life, the company sent an email to all customers saying the device will become a paperweight in March and they can have a discount on a new one if they like.

Harmony Link is a handy little device that lets users control their devices with a single remote -- or just their phone -- by sitting in the middle and blasting IR for you. 

When you buy a 'smart' device like a Nest thermostat or Canary camera you expect it to work forever even if that isn't realistic. Nest, at least, should work without the internet services underneath for a long time, but Logitech's device will just... die.

There needs to be some sort of manifesto for these devices that manufacturers commit to. Logitech just walking away from a device after barely five years of life is ridiculous and showcases a new level of built-in obsolescence. 

This also happened to me recently when my sleep tracker, Sense, had its parent company go out of business. Basic features like the alarm clock still work, but the app is half-dead (no more sleep tracking) as the AWS services underneath have gone offline.

I just purchased a bunch of 'smart' switches from TP Link in the last month to connect it up to Google Home and they are magical - being able to schedule the lights to come on automatically if someone is home before sunset is great... but now I'm worried they might not even last a year.

One thing companies could commit to, if they go out of business or discontinue a device, is open sourcing a library to keep them alive or at least minimally functional. 

A commitment like this would win back a lot of trust from consumers who might consider repurchasing - if I was a Logitech device owner right now I'd never touch them again.

Tab Dump™

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