A decade ago, companies that sold printers made tweaks to their technology to prevent generic ink cartridges from being used. That same technique is starting to be used in connected home appliances and devices.
A few years ago, General Electric started requiring consumers to replace water filters in its refrigerators with new versions that included RFID chips. If you didn’t buy one of theirs, which is substantially more expensive than other brands of filters, you didn’t get water.
As more smart home appliances become available, we anticipate arbitrary technical barriers that make the devices beyond a certain period of time.
That leads to a thorny question: Could we be causing future environmental damage by forcibly bricking our devices every few years?
For example, if a company retires an operating system for its smart refrigerator, should consumers still have the right to at least use the refrigerator in its traditional function for temperature-controlled storage? If not they’d have to throw it away, creating unnecessary and potentially harmful waste.
This trend is part of our section on Home Automation. Other trends in this section include:
Advertising and Public Relations, Agriculture, Alternative Energy Production & Services, Architectural Services, Auditors, Banking, Biosciences, Broadcasters, Radio and TV, Builders/General Contractors, Cable & Satellite TV Production & Distribution, Civil Servants/Public Officials, Commercial TV & Radio Stations, Construction, Corporate Boards & Directors, Covid-19/ coronavirus, Defense, Doctors & Other Health Professionals, Drug Manufacturers, Education Colleges & Universities, Education K-12, Electric Utilities, Entertainment Industry, Foreign & Defense Policy, Government - International, Government - National, Government - State and Local, Government Regulators, Health Professionals, Hospitality, Hotels/Motels/Tourism, Human Resources, Information Technology, Infrastructure, Insurance, Law Enforcement, Lawyers/Law Firms/Legal Industry, Luxury Retail, National Security, Non-profits/Foundations/Philanthropists, Pharmaceuticals/Health Products, Professional Services, Radio/TV Stations, Real Estate, Retail, Technology Company, Telecommunications, Trade Associations, Transportation, Travel Industry, TV Production, TV/Movies/Music, Urban Planning, Utilities, Work (Future of)