IoT: The Sonos Example — And More

Apple had “planned obsolescence” built-in for “older devices”- slowly and surreptitiously, they “slowed” down the devices forcing the users to “upgrade” to a shiny new gadget. However, faced with a consumer backlash, it probably rolled it back. I am not sure if it was done because I don’t own an iOS device.

However, the spectre of those trying to turn around the buildings into “smart hospitals” should pause and think about the planned obsolescence and “lack of security upgrades”. How are they going to work around the upgrades/ How will they audit the devices/software code? What will they do to ensure that it doesn’t end up in Shodan? The purveyors and marketers should realise that IoT is an overblown concept; unless we fix the basics, it would be a terrible idea to go mainstream with them.

Sooner or later — sooner if you let marketeers dictate the pace — obsolescence will strike the hardware of our microprocessor-controlled Things. Someday, you might have to rip out all your AC plugs from the sheetrock in your home. Why? Thanks to the workings of Moore’s Law, new plugs are so much more powerful and secure. And, as the manufacturer apologizes from a distant country, your old ones can’t be updated because the new and improved software release won’t work on a five-year-old microprocessor.
Today, grafting a microprocessor and a Wi-Fi radio onto a power plug is child’s play (and a dollar) for the engineers of an appliance maker. Smartplugs that work with Alexa or Google Assistant are plentiful and inexpensive on Amazon, going for as low as $19.98 for a two pack. What will happen when these plugs need updates for bugs and security patches, or when the manufacturer wants to force us to buy a newer, more capable model? This will happen to smart bulbs, locks, cameras, thermostats, dishwashers…

via IoT Trouble: The Sonos Example — And More – Monday Note