How the “Internet of Things” is Becoming the “Internet of Junk”

Several years ago, a new and revolutionary device was introduced to consumers – one that would allow homeowners with abilities to control the temperature and comfort of their home anywhere in the World. The product that I am talking about is “Nest”. Designed to communicate with external servers using the Internet, these devices provided pathways into your home network, enabling smart services to constantly report and update your home’s environmental configuration at any time. The product was provided by a company named “Revolv”.

Not too long ago, Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc.,electronicwaste-10may2016-4 purchased Revolv and their “Nest” product. According to their website, Revolv will be shutting down their servers which support all of those “Nest” devices. Essentially, they have removed the greatest and best functionality of these little devices – and turned them into *bricks*.

According to Revolv’s web site (, their servers will no longer be available as of 15-May-2016.  To customers, this is very disheartening, and even more disappointing to potentially to new customers who would like to do the right, purchase something that has been touted as ‘green power’ — and more importantly — something that will save them time and money.

Shown below is a single-page letter to their customers:

A letter from Revolv’s founders:

We’re shutting down Revolv.

Revolv was a great first step into the connected home. It wasn’t perfect, but we worked hard to make something we – and other smart people – could build on.

And it worked. In 2014, we were bought by Nest and the technology we made became an integral part of the Works with Nest platform. Now Works with Nest is turning into something more secure, more useful and just flat-out better than anything Revolv created.

So we’re pouring all our energy into Works with Nest and are incredibly excited about what we’re making. Unfortunately, that means we can’t allocate resources to Revolv anymore and we have to shut down the service. As of May 15, 2016, your Revolv hub and app will no longer work.

Thank you for your support and believing in us. We’re sad for the end of Revolv, but this isn’t the end of the connected home. This is the beginning.

– Tim & Mike

Don’t believe me? Here’s what they stated in black ‘n white:


What happens to my Revolv service?
As of May 15, 2016, Revolv service will no longer be available. The Revolv app won’t open and the hub won’t work.

What about support for their product?

Is my product still under warranty?
No. Our one-year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship has expired for all Revolv products.

OK…how about privacy of any of my data transmitted to their servers? At least there is something good that will come out this, right?

What will happen to Revolv data?
Revolv data will be deleted.

Whew. For a minute there, I thought that they were going to sell all metadata for every customer who purchased their product over the past several years to advertising and marketing agencies.

Oh, wait. That’s what Google does, isn’t it?

UPDATE #1: 8-Apr-2016

ZDNet published an article about the nightmarish scenarios ruminating through executive’s heads. The article was dated 1-Mar-2016, and provides some interesting concerns about security. Forrester Research conducted s survey in 2015, and the graph (shown below) represents categorized findings from that survey.

ZDNet Forrester Research Survery 2015
NOTE: Graphic is not contained on our site, but is linked to ZDNet’s web site.

Bob is the founder, owner and co-moderator of the SCADASEC mailing list, and has written several books on topics pertaining to critical infrastructure research and cybersecurity.