This has become a key thing that I look for when buying new products. If the product relies on the cloud for a feature that I think should be entirely offline, the product will be immediately returned and a negative review will be left on the resellers site.
A perfect example was the early version of the Lockitron device. It required cloud access but had a one time payment. Based on that information alone I could not justify the purchase to myself even just to play with because it's a bad business model.
They then add insult to injury by making me sync via a dongle /connected cable to my laptop; at which point I could just as easily sync to a desktop client vs their otherwise "disconnected cloud".
But the fact that they force you to use their servers to store your data so that they can turn around and sell it, frankly I hope they get sued for something. Anything.
There should be a law against selling customer data without the expressed consent of the customer whos data is being sold, per purchase. Even if the company is acquired.
I still use the Audiotron every day. Still haven't found anything better.
Turning my lights on and off? That has to work without internet access.
Logging my heart rate et all, ala fitbit? Nope, I should be able to use a server of my choosing, requiring that I use cloud servers for something I paid a one time fee for is an instant deal breaker.
A service that logged all of my access times and determined whether or not I was home based on the result? I would prefer that be run from my own server even optionally with a DNS hijack, but I would understand the need for the cloud in this situation.
Most "connected" devices simply have lesser or limited functionality when services they are connected to disappear.
It also comes down to Ownership. When I buy a device I expect it work until it gives up its electronic ghost. When I subscribe to a service I expect it to work for the month I paid for.
Ofcourse I would have never bought that hub in the first place because I require my products at a minimum to have a open API that can be used for Compatibility later.
Wall Garden should be resisted by consumers, it is sad most people do not even look at that, hopefully cases like this will push consumers to DEMAND manufacturer have open and inter operable systems
Not true, that is only the case for devices where the company wants to have exclusive control over the connection and resulting data, There are all kinds of open devices sold where I can connect to servers run by community, myself, or the company (many provide the cloud service and the device separately, so I buy the device then i have to buy a monthly service as well)
>Should Connected Hardware companies/startups disclose this upfront when making the sale? i.e. say "Your $199 purchase includes a free license to our software for x years."
That should be the minimum disclosure requirement.
I have old phones that can't make telephone calls, but they still work fine as connected devices via wifi. They still work as cameras, mp3 players, gaming machines etc.
What is X?
For traditional desktop software and standalone apps, the expectation is not different at all. I still own a lot of old pc games that I bought at some point and play occasionally and would find it extremely irritating if they suddenly stopped to function without any acceptable reason.
Recently, things may be changing with mandatory auto-updating, subscription models and many apps just being front-ends for server-side processes. But as far as I know, most of those changes are pushed by vendors/developers and accepted by consumers as a necessary evil (if at all). It's not at all that customers would suddenly expect something different.