What happens when an IoT implementation goes bad?

When talking about the Internet of Things, it’s important to remember that the “internet” part is just as critical as the “things.” That my sound cryptic, but it can have dramatic real-world implications, as demonstrated by the failure last week of one-time Kickstarter darling Emberlight.

The company had raised $300,000 back in 2014 to fund development of its smart light socket designed to work with ordinary bulbs. But on November 16, Emberlight notified customers it was going out of business due to competition from larger competitors and imitators selling similar devices for a quarter of the price.

Sad, but no big deal, right? Smart-home buyers will just have to get their smart sockets from someone else.

IoT failure: A bigger deal than it looks

Not so fast, the situation is actually a lot worse than that. It turns out Emberlight’s technology architecture required a call to the company’s cloud service for commands to turn the lights on or off. No more Emberlight means no more cloud service, so starting in three to four months when Emberlight shuts down its service, those lights are staying off.

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