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just got burned

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just got burned
« on: June 27, 2016, 04:37:09 am »
just found out tcp connected bulbs will no longer be supported on June 30th.  It will no longer have access to their cloud, nor will their app be updated.  I have 16 of those bulbs and after the 30th they will no longer work with the echo.   What makes me mad is there was nothing in the tech news sites about this, tcp did not contact anyone.  I just happened to run across a review at amazon where there was a comment about this.  I went to tcp's website and found the info hidden in their website.   I guess they dont want anyone to know since they are still selling the bulbs. 

http://go.tcpi.com/GetConnected  (click on the tcp product update - it is a pdf)

Quote
Dear Connected by TCP Customer,
Thank you for your patronage to the Connected by TCP system. We appreciate your support.
We regret to inform you that we are making changes to our support model and will be discontinuing
the following services associated with the Connected by TCP system effective June 30, 2016:
 Access via the internet and connectivity through cloud services
 Updates of the TCP Lighting App
Importantly, the following functionality will be unaffected by these changes in services:
 Lighting controls through a local (Wifi) connection
 General Illumination with Connected by TCP bulbs
We appreciate your understanding as the Internet of Things (IoT) market continues to evolve. If you
have any questions or support concerns feel free to reach out to our customer service team by
sending an email to ...
 

now I will have to figure out what to get to replace those bulbs - when I come up with the money. 

Re: just got burned
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 07:42:53 am »
Smartthings works with TCP bulbs, and the hub is on sale right now for $79.00.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B010NZV0GE/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467027737&sr=8-1&pi=SX200_QL40&keywords=smartthings+hub&dpPl=1&dpID=31RCWPcjDLL&ref=plSrch

Edit: Never mind...it appears that ST is going to be impacted too.

I considered buying some TCP bulbs when I first started my HA exercise, but went with GE Link instead...and I'm glad I did.  The main problem is that instead of going with Zigbee or Zwave, TCP uses the JenNet-IP protocol, and their own controller is accessible only via HTTPS using a non-public API.  This gives hubs like ST no practical choice but to rely on the cloud interface that TCP will no longer be supporting.  To add insult to injury, from what I'm reading they didn't even give many of their partner companies any sort of heads up, and the latter just learned about the action at the same time as the general public.

I will certainly never buy anything from them now.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 08:59:50 am by DParker »

Offline jwlv

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Re: just got burned
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 09:44:01 pm »
What I got from that TCP document is that you can use your bulbs as long as your phone is on the same Wifi network as the bulbs. Other devices, such as SmartThings and Echo will not work because they depend on being able to connect to the bulbs through the cloud, and not a direct Wifi connection.

Apparently TCP is still actively selling the bulbs with very little disclosure on what their products will no longer do. I wonder if TCP will offer any type of compensation to those who own their connected devices.

This isn't the first time things like this happen.

About two years ago, Nest bought Dropcam for $555 million. They discontinued support for the Dropcam about a year later. The Dropcam no longer works because Google (parent company of Nest) turned off the servers that the Dropcam relied on. The good news is that some owners of the Dropcam could get a free exchange to the newer Dropcam HD version if their old Dropcams were in use during the 30-day period from Dec 22, 2014 to Jan 21, 2015.

Quirky, the parent company of Wink, filed bankruptcy and sold Wink to Flextronics for a mere $15 million. That was about a year ago. So far, Wink services have not been affected. But who knows what the future may hold for Wink.



The big issue surrounding all of these cloud-dependent products is what happens when the company dissolves?

Re: just got burned
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 10:06:39 pm »
Other devices, such as SmartThings and Echo will not work because they depend on being able to connect to the bulbs through the cloud, and not a direct Wifi connection.

The ST hub contains its own Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Z-Wave radios (Bluetooth as well in the v2 hub, but it's not active yet), so the hub acts as a direct controller for bulbs based on those standards.  If you're using a Philips Hue bridge as the controller for Hue bulbs then ST will access the bridge via the web, but it will control bulbs locally.

Of course it still needs an internet connection for other functions.  But bulb control and automation (and monitoring of some motion sensors) can operate purely locally.

Re: just got burned
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2016, 04:31:35 am »
What I got from that TCP document is that you can use your bulbs as long as your phone is on the same Wifi network as the bulbs. Other devices, such as SmartThings and Echo will not work because they depend on being able to connect to the bulbs through the cloud, and not a direct Wifi connection.

Apparently TCP is still actively selling the bulbs with very little disclosure on what their products will no longer do. I wonder if TCP will offer any type of compensation to those who own their connected devices.

This isn't the first time things like this happen.

About two years ago, Nest bought Dropcam for $555 million. They discontinued support for the Dropcam about a year later. The Dropcam no longer works because Google (parent company of Nest) turned off the servers that the Dropcam relied on. The good news is that some owners of the Dropcam could get a free exchange to the newer Dropcam HD version if their old Dropcams were in use during the 30-day period from Dec 22, 2014 to Jan 21, 2015.

Quirky, the parent company of Wink, filed bankruptcy and sold Wink to Flextronics for a mere $15 million. That was about a year ago. So far, Wink services have not been affected. But who knows what the future may hold for Wink.



The big issue surrounding all of these cloud-dependent products is what happens when the company dissolves?

There was also Revolv who announced it was shutting down back in April.

 It is really frustrating since I will have about 300 bucks worth of bulbs that are now worthless.  at least now I know why home depot had them in their discount bin back in may.  I will replace them but I am thinking about going half/half.  Half cree and half ge so if I get burned again, it will not be in one big lump.  I think I am going with cree and ge because they will work with the wink hub without having to get another gateway or hub.  or did I miss something?  I thought about going philips hue too but was not sure if it will work with wink. 

I did email tcp about the whole issue, I even asked for a refund for the 16 bulbs but their reply looked like it was written by a lawyer and they ignored my request for a full refund.  I should have known it would have come to a bad ending when their app was written by greenway realty but it was 2013 just the start of the home automation for the general public and I wanted something with remote access. 

Re: just got burned
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2016, 02:56:14 pm »
Just received my first email about this.  However it was not from tcp connected, it was from Wink.   

Re: just got burned
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2016, 06:28:37 pm »
it is July 1 and so far the remote access is still turned on for my tcp connected bulbs.   

edit

I originally posted the above about 20 minutes ago.  since then my remote access was turned off.  I jinxed it. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 07:05:04 pm by renegade600 »