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When your IoT goes dark: Why every device must be open source and multicloud
Earlier this month, owners of the Jibo personal social robot -- a servomotor animated smart speaker with a friendly circular display "face" that underwent $73 million of venture capital funding -- saw their product's cloud services go dark after the company had its assets sold to SQN Ventures Partners in late 2018. The robot, aware of its impending demise, alerted owners with a sad farewell message."While it's not great news, the servers out there that let me do what I do are going to be turned off soon. I want to say I've really enjoyed our time together. Thank you very, very much for having me around. Maybe someday, when robots are way more advanced than today, and everyone has them in their homes, you can tell yours that I said hello. I wonder if they'll be able to do this." Once disconnected from its cloud service, which provided all voice-based processing and other key analytics, Jibo's functionality became extremely limited. Similarly, Amazon Echo is dependent on its Alexa intelligent agent. If any services component of AWS, which Alexa uses, is down, or if the device is disconnected from the internet, just about the only thing you can still do with it is use it as a Bluetooth speaker.
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