Nest’s system failure shows what happens when your smart home goes dark

Nest’s entire ecosystem went down during the night for North American customers, with the outage affecting all products, including smart thermostats, security cameras and smart locks.

The outage was confirmed by Nest’s own Twitter support page with a statement asking Nest lock customers to get in touch, followed shortly after by another tweet saying that for some customers the entire app was down. 

Technical dependency is one of the biggest potential drawbacks that's laid at the door of smart home products, with the ever-present question of ‘What happens if the system shuts down?’ And now we have an answer: not very much.

Wait, so I have to turn a lock? With my hand?

That’s right, all the safety failsafes worked, so for those customers that had Nest smart locks keeping their home safe, the doors didn’t suddenly swing open like a Hollywood prison drama, they just had non-smart locks on them for a bit.

Same thing with the thermostats, they still worked, you just had to get up from the couch, walk to the thermostat, and adjust it with your hand. You know, like you used to. 

The one section of the smart home that we do have some sympathy for is people not being able to access their security cameras, especially those people using them as baby monitors. But here’s the thing, people had babies before baby monitors, and even baby monitors can fail.

Obviously if you’ve spend the (pretty substantial) money on fitting your home with smart tech you want your new gadget to operate better than the old fashioned thing that it replaces, but considering that the old standard is the baseline that these gadgets fall back to, it’s really not too rough a deal. Especially as it seemed to take less than three hours to go from Nest first realizing that there was a problem to it being totally resolved.

Via The Verge

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.