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Your expensive smart appliance may not last a decade



  A brain hovering in front of a smart fridge
Sebastian Kaulitzki / Shutterstock

When you buy a new appliance, you make an investment that should take a while. However, this does not apply to smart devices. Manufacturers are not required to keep your machine up to date, which could make your investment acidic.

Appliances Should Last For Decades

Today there are still many homes equipped with refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines. 80s These appliances may not look as good as they used to, and they are likely to increase the utility bill but reliable and easy to maintain. Some of these devices can survive another ten or twenty years. So you can assume that a brand new device will last for decades, right?

Well, it depends what you buy. Let's say you've invested in a smart appliance, like the Samsung Family Hub's smart refrigerator or LG's smart air conditioning. You could have bought a cheaper device, maybe even an outdated device from the 2000s. However, they (rightly) view the functions of a smart device as a major point of sale and a worthwhile investment.

Well, there is a possibility that your expensive smart device will be stupid in less than a decade.

You Replace Your Phones And Tablets Quite Often

Do you remember the landline? They tended to take a while, and you only had to replace them if you wanted a voicemail receiver or a cordless phone. But cell phones are a different story. According to a Gallup poll, 44% of Americans replace their cell phone every two years, and most cell phones are outdated after about five or six years.

People do not complain too much about having to buy a new phone every few years. Mostly because they do not have much choice. Smartphones regularly need new hardware and software to keep up with the times, and old computers are slowing down. Not to mention that people are increasingly concerned about privacy, and older phones may be more prone to hacking.

Considering that smart appliances, such as smartphones and tablets, are being built and are supposed to work in tandem with smartphones and tablets, this raises a question. Do intelligent devices need to be replaced every five or six years? Obviously, your smart fridge will not stop producing cold air just because its smart features are out of date. However, dropping thousands of dollars into a smart refrigerator that can not keep you guess is a serious problem.

Firmware updates are already spotty

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<p>  The first wave of smart devices hit the market less than a decade ago, but companies are already showing they are not interested in firmware updates. And many of these devices are in the marketplace with hurried, underdeveloped software, so people are already using smart, not-so-smart devices. </p>
<p>  LG sold its brand of smart devices (ranges, A / C units, washing machines, etc.) with the promise that they would work with Google Home, but early users in the US claimed their devices were not connected to Google Home could produce. They also complained that LG would not support the problem. </p><div><script async src=

Those who had bought the first generation of the intelligent cooler of the Samsung Family Hub had to constantly ask Samsung for firmware updates. While newer refrigerators were packed with an updated user interface and a Bixby virtual assistant, the old refrigerators stuck to an old firmware version for months. Family Hub users complained that they could not use the 2014 Google Calendar app, and Samsung decided not to fix the issue by 2017.

This could be to blame for the fact that companies are consolidating their place in the smart device market. But people are already begging companies to release firmware updates for their relatively new devices. Would these companies publish updates if people would not complain? Are you required to publish updates?

There are no warranties for updates?

If you spend thousands of dollars on a smart appliance, you should rightly expect the manufacturer to release firmware updates. If anything, firmware updates should be guaranteed in the warranty. If your smart appliance is not working properly because it needs a firmware or hardware update, is not it a manufacturer defect?

Let's take a quick look at the Samsung Family Hub's smart fridge. It costs $ 4,000, has a huge screen and is by far the most popular luxury smart device on the market. Samsung makes it clear that the intelligent refrigerator receives firmware updates. The refrigerators will notify you when updates are available. The Samsung website has update information pages and news. In addition, the Family Hub Owner's Guide includes information about updating the refrigerator. However, none of these sources guarantees that updates will come out in the future.

It makes sense that there are no product warranties on these pages. But what about the warranty? Samsung's Family Hub Smart Fridge Warranty does not mention any firmware updates or service upgrades to the refrigerator's smart hardware. Your warranty actually only covers the "fridge" of your smart refrigerator.

I also talked to a "Samsung Care Pro" to find all the documents that guarantee Samsung firmware updates. At the beginning of the conversation, the representative told me that "Yes, the fridge will receive the updates." I squeezed something else, and after waiting for 10 minutes, he told me that "there is no paperwork over the Internet giving updates."

If you believe that manufacturers are unwilling to provide or guarantee firmware updates It becomes clear that they do not intend to provide updates forever, and that you can not do anything if your smart appliance stops being smart, and you can expect manufacturers to focus more and more on their latest products Smart devices that do not receive updates are easier to hack

It's no secret that smart home devices are easy to hack Some manufacturers provide updates that can fix security vulnerabilities, but we know that most manufacturers do not have Fi publish rmware updates. And since warranties do not guarantee firmware updates, it's not unreasonable to believe that your expensive smart appliances will not get patches or security enhancements in ten years.

As your easy-to-hack smart appliance gets older and older, it becomes even more vulnerable. With many of these devices equipped with cameras, microphones, and data capture algorithms, hackers' vulnerabilities are a major concern for privacy.

However, using devices with outdated firmware is not a closed concern for privacy. These old smart devices can affect your entire home network. To make the Internet safer, the Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced WPA3, the latest Wi-Fi security standard. The world is slowly switching to WPA3, and many routers are running WPA3 along with the legacy WPA2 security standard, so older devices can still connect to the Internet.

In the end, you can handle this A router that by default only supports WPA3 security standards. And that's good, because WPA2 connections are becoming less secure. However, if you are using a smart appliance with old firmware, it may not be able to connect to a WPA3 signal. If you want to use this old appliance, you'll need to adjust the router settings to support WPA2, an option that makes it a simple hack target.

Thinking About Smart TVs

Smart appliances are relatively new. and you will not find them in most households. In fact, 64% of consumers do not even know that smart refrigerators even exist. On the other hand, by the end of 2018, 37.2% of all US households had at least one Smart TV. Smart TVs are so ubiquitous that a simple search for "TV" on Amazon leads to dozens of smart TV sites. [19659006] As smart TVs are far more common than smart kitchen appliances, they are a good indication of how long smart devices can last and what problems they might have. You can not think of a TV as a device, but how a smart TV works is similar to how a smart device works. The "smart" aspect does not change the integral function of the device, but it is a key selling point requiring Wi-Fi connectivity and firmware updates to be up-to-date.

Smart TVs are known to have unclear interfaces rarely receiving useful updates. In fact, it seems that manufacturers are more interested in updates that force users to view ads than anything that increases performance or security. And like smart appliances, smart TVs are vulnerable to hacker attacks, but manufacturers tend to work around the problem and make no real attempts to fix security issues.

Smart TVs are becoming so outdated that it's not unusual for people Roku, Chomecast or Amazon Firestick are plugging into their Smart TV, an ironic twist of fate that makes one wonder why people are selling Smart TV at all (Note: you are more profitable through the Crapware). And if this rapid aging of televisions occurs, there is a chance that this can happen even with smart devices.

Why would a company sell a device that does not take a decade?

Companies that sell smart devices are you are aware that their products do not pass the test of time. Manufacturers such as Samsung and LG have been selling smartphones and devices for years even longer. They know that they are beating up a product that is relatively unwieldy with a product that has been working for decades. Why would they wipe out home appliances that will become obsolete?

Well, on the one hand luxury luxury devices occupy a relatively unused market. If a company trumps its competitors in this market, its apps and software could become an integral part of people's lives. Bringing smart appliances into people's homes is the hard part, and shoppers have no choice but to turn to manufacturers of their appliances later. "Go fast and break things," a mogul once said.

But if companies decide they do not want to wait for smart devices? It's only been a few years since these products hit the market, and manufacturers seem unwilling to release comprehensive firmware updates. People can start replacing their refrigerators and dishwashers in the same way they replace their cell phones, which would be very lucrative for businesses. Maybe people will feel torn and start giving up bad brands. We have to wait and find out.

What we want from the manufacturers

  Disgusting young man looking at his laptop
pathdoc / Shutterstock

Even if a company like Samsung starts with firmware updates for smart It's difficult to make your smart devices like that to operate as they should. The "smart" aspect of your smart device is as time-sensitive as your smartphone. How can manufacturers tackle this problem?

Do you remember smart TVs? They are unwieldy and vulnerable, and their "smart" features are quickly becoming obsolete. However, you can easily fix the problem by plugging in a cheap device like a Chromecast or a Roku. And because plug-in streaming devices are cheap and easily replaceable, consumers do not feel the need to replace their television as often as they replace their cell phone.

As with a Smart TV, the biggest problems with a smart refrigerator or a washing machine are its "smart" hardware and software. They are difficult to maintain and can quickly become obsolete. Screens, cameras, thermometers, microphones and speakers are not the problem.

Here is my suggestion.

Manufacturers should add a port to their expensive smart devices that allows them to connect a cheap device (similar to a Chromecast) every few years to keep the device up-to-date. These small devices can also handle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so you do not have to worry about your old appliance falling short of security standards.

This system will make consumers more confident about what manufacturers bring A stable stream of revenue from their smart devices (without shaking people out), and it will encourage tech savvy nerds to devote most of the software development to intelligent platforms To do things. Boom, everyone is happy But if companies decide to implement this idea, they'll pay me better.

Smart devices are great when they work

This is not a tirade against smart devices. They have the potential to make our lives easier, and they have managed to captivate many people's ideas. You can use it to remotely navigate recipes, watch videos during the cooking process, or view the contents of your fridge on your phone. However, manufacturers need to build smart devices that pass the test of time. Hopefully, your future home is not full of hackable, outdated and frustrating machines. However, there is a chance that this will be the case.

Sources: Google Help Forum, Reviewed, Samsung, Digital Trends, Extremetech

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