Specialist in connected lighting, Osram announced this week the closure of its Lightify cloud servers. What does this mean for users and what are the wider consequences?
In a press release , the German company Osram explains that its Lightify servers (running the homonymous application) will be deactivated on August 31, 2021. In order not to leave users in the dark, the manufacturer explains that this decision has been made, because its system “is technologically exceeded by other solutions on the market” . He goes further by arguing that the Zigbee Light Link or the Zigbee Home Automation – implanted in its products – are outdated compared to the Zigbee 3.0 used today for connected devices, making compatibility more complex with other smart objects.
This announcement is alarming for the survival of the Osram group, which seems to abandon the desire to develop its devices in Zigbee while giants like Apple, Google and Amazon come together to work around this type of network. For them, the use of the Zigbee could become an unavoidable standard with the aim of making the use of connected devices of different brands less restrictive for individuals. So why is Osram stopping on such a good track?
Osram continues its statement by specifying that the investment necessary to upgrade its systems is not possible. Without a budget to transform its products, is this the end of a group over 100 years old in the world of lighting? Nothing can say so far, but the question can be asked.
In practice, when the Lightify cloud servers are closed, users will still be able to use the application dedicated to Osram devices, but only the basic options will be available. It will therefore be possible to turn the lights on or off, adjust their brightness or even change their colors.
However, it will become impossible to control these objects via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, modify the scenes or set the Holiday mode. In addition, no luminaire can be added to the ecosystem and no update will be accessible, as well as all the upgrade options (Reset).
However, the manufacturer assures that its products will not become obsolete, because they can connect with other systems using Zigbee, such as Samsung SmartThings or Wink. But it is a safe bet that in the long term and in the absence of an update, this promise will be very difficult to be kept.
In a world where there are more and more connected objects, this announcement comes as an alert: will all devices be made unusable with the evolution of technology? Certainly, this question breaks open a door, but brings up another.
How can we prevent all these devices from piling up in our garbage cans? One solution could be that the old smart devices are still supported by the new systems. Between a shortfall for businesses and a race for new customers, we are still waiting for the answer.