Lowe’s Iris Line Goes Under
Many consumers are seeing red with the recent news that big-box retailer Lowe's is shutting down service to its Iris smart home platform.
Lowe's launched its Iris cloud service in 2012 so it could sell its own smart home products to the public. Customers with an Iris smart hub, the heart of the network, could keep in touch with the connected devices in their home via the free Iris app. Smart home products ran the gamut from thermostat controllers to lights and sensors.
Why This Is Bad News for DIYers
Iris was originally intended to be a hub for everything in the home, as this TechHive review describes, but it turned into primarily a security offering for DIYers who wanted security on a budget. Once the hub was hooked up by a hardwired ethernet line to a router, consumers could add other sensors to the network like motion sensors and keypads. While it was cheap, the set-up process was arduous based on numerous poor reviews, and false alarms were far too easy to trip.
It's part of the risk that comes with new technology, and it indeed isn't the first or last time this will happen. Other extinct hubs include Revolv, and it's predicted in tech circles that other smart home offerings will likely fall since smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home can serve similar purposes to hubs and are more straightforward to use.
Iris users are now left to pick up the pieces. Customers with eligible products that work only on the Iris platform will be able to redeem them for a prepaid VISA gift card, according to Lowe’s FAQs. Iris devices that are compatible with other hubs will not be eligible for any refunds. The only way to redeem anything, however, is online. Connected Iris items cannot be returned to Lowe's stores.
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