AS MUCH AS the idea of connecting everything in your home together sounds great, sometimes it can go horribly wrong.
Take door locks for example. Customers of LockState, one of the most popular smart lock companies, are furious after a borked software update left them locked out of their own houses.
The Colorado-based smart lock company has previously said its locks are the perfect solution for places such as Airbnb where handing over of keys is necessary.
But the RemoteLock6i is misbehaving and causing severe issues for some 200 customers. Because it's borked. And when we say Borked. We mean EDF smart meter borked.
LockState CEO Nolan Mondrow told affected customers: "Your lock is among a small subset of locks that had a fatal error rendering it inoperable. After a software update was sent to your lock, it failed to reconnect to our web service making a remote fix impossible."
It is offering either a return service, where some fresh software will be put on and the device returned, or a complete replacement for you to fit yourself.
Either will involve having a replacement lock to use temporarily, which will cost. LockState has already confirmed it will refund postage and give a free years service to its customers after replacement.
This rather raises more questions than it answers. Lockstate appears to require connection to WiFi and its servers in order to function and that is a bit alarming. There's a lot to go wrong.
In the past we've looked at smart locks from Yale, which conversely, are managed on premise by a Z-Wave or proprietary network. They also have a backup function.
Mondrow's message finishes: "We hope that you will give us a chance to regain your trust."
That is a big ask and we will be interested to see what happens next. It acts as another reminder that the more we depend on off-premise smart tech, the more there is to go catastrophically wrong. µ
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