Amazon should learn from its recent AWS outage, but it would rather make affordable devices – Android Central
According to experts, Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) should start offering local or offline controls of its smart home devices, following a major outage that left consumers unattached to several products for hours last week. However, there are mixed reactions as to whether Amazon will commit to this feature.
During the morning of Dec. 7, AWS, or Amazon’s massive cloud system, began experiencing connectivity issues with servers. As a result, the outage affected many web services throughout the day, including popular payment app Venmo, streaming services such as Disney Plus and Netflix, in addition to smart home apps like iRobot and Amazon Alexa. Most Amazon services like Prime Music and Prime Video were also down during the outage, and customers were even unable to order items from Amazon during parts of the outage.
Amazon’s Ring Video Doorbell customers also reported that they were unable to access the Ring app, which means customers couldn’t view any camera feeds or manage their Ring Alarm. It should be noted that Ring Alarm Pro allows cameras to store locally on an SD card. Still, despite that, customers couldn’t access this data because they couldn’t access the Ring app at all. By early afternoon, services were slowly restored, though some apps still experienced longer than usual load times.
Amazon stated the outage happened because of impaired network devices.
Android Central reached out to Amazon asking if it plans to offer local or offline support to its smart home devices on the AWS network, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
IDC’s research manager of worldwide device trackers, Jitesh Ubrani, says the outage makes a great case for why local or offline control can benefit consumers, especially security devices.
“When it comes to Alexa, the need to have these features may not be as high when compared to Ring or any other security products. Security cameras, alarm systems, and other such devices should certainly have offline modes made available to users as they are often used in a scenario where 100% uptime is key. That said, Ring’s basic alarm systems were still functioning yesterday though some features like Alexa integration and the app itself were offline,” he says.
According to a poll that Android Central conducted last week, of the 96 people who voted, 37.5% agreed that local or offline support is needed.
Hopefully today’s #alexa and #RingDoorbell outages will lead to more consumers asking for local control or offline support in their smart home devices. This is one of the few differentiators smaller brands offer but it’s often seen as unnecessary by many.
— Jitesh Ubrani (@JiteshUbrani) December 8, 2021
There’s a reason why companies like Amazon do not want to offer offline support
Ubrani adds that it’s likely these specific products don’t have offline control because it would mean Amazon would have to “fork over control” to the end-user, giving up security in the process of doing so.
“Device makers often benefit financially from the data that is collected by smart home devices, and if consumers have the option to operate the device in offline mode, then device makers could potentially lose money or charge more for the hardware,” he says.
On the security side of things, Ubrani adds that users could miss out on key software updates and …….
Leave a Comment