Since about 2012, the round Philips Hue Bridge 1 has been able to integrate Hue products or Zigbee products into the home network. Automation and remote control of lights at home was something special at the time. Once connected to the home router, the Bridge integrated Philips Hue luminaires into the home network. The Hue Bridge 2.0/2.1 provided Apple Home Kit compatibility from 2015 onwards, and Siri compatibility added voice control for the smart home.
In 2016, customers were still able to purchase Hue Bridge 1 gadgets from dealers. Now, at the end of the first quarter of 2020, Philips will stop supplying Bridge 1 with security and quality updates. Compatibility with the Hue Cloud, although not mandatory for its operation, is required for certain functions and also ends on April 30. 2020. The end of security updates is a serious matter. From the second quarter of 2020 onwards Hue Bridge 1 users have to use it "at their own risk", and from a security perspective, should actually shut down the device, even if the functionality itself is not impaired.
The current press release from Osram to shut down the cloud server of its LIGHTIFY platform fits this news. Although the server will continue until 31.8.2021, users will have to search for a new smart home system to integrate their LIGHTIFY system, as most of the functions will be lost and control via app or voice assistant such as Siri will no longer be possible.
Osram has withdrawn from the consumer lighting business in 2016, so the move is not unexpected. However, in view of these developments, customers are asking themselves why they should purchase systems that, like PCs, require a constant supply of updates from manufacturers, who will turn their backs on them, after a few years. Except for some "nerds" and "prosumers", nobody likes the idea of having to buy new hardware every five years because some support ends.
To ensure a widespread and sustainable success of the smart home segment, manufacturers need to make even greater efforts to build trust and customer loyalty.