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09 November 2017, 10:26 | Justin Tyler
Logitech will deliberately brick Harmony Link devices next year
Users have started criticising Logitech as the company has formally announced the discontinuation of the Harmony Link. We've refocused development resources on newer technologies, and therefore, we are not updating the Harmony Link certificate.
Logitech's decision, even after all these years after the Link's release, renewed an underlining concern that comes with cloud-dependent gadgets; you only own them until a company decides to stop supporting them and they abruptly stop working - even if the hardware is still totally functional. The company is offering customers who are still in warranty an upgrade to their latest Harmony hub. "Your Harmony Link will no longer function after this date".
Accessories maker Logitech has rolled out a free software update today for all of its Harmony hub-based products, giving users better control over the number of interconnected devices making up their smart home.
At the time of publishing, Logitech has not offered any additional explanation as to why the Link will cease to function after March 2018, aside from an outdated certificate. "We first communicated to affected customers in August 2017 that we are offering a free Harmony Hub to replace a Link (if within warranty) or a discount on the Harmony Hub (if out-of-warranty)", the representative noted. It lets users control a range of home devices, such as video players and TV sets.
The incident serves as a reminder that cloud-enabled devices can be terminated at will by vendors. But for people out of warranty-possibly the majority of Harmony Link users, as the devices were last sold in 2015-they would just get a one-time, 35 percent discount on a new $100 Harmony Hub.
But customers are calling out Logitech for bricking a device that works perfectly fine for a lot of them, presumably in the hopes of forcing an upgrade to a new device.
"The technology certificate is an encryption certification that expires in the spring of 2018, which may open the product up to potential security vulnerabilities", Logitech said. It is not clear what this certificate is nor why the lack of it will brick the Link but that is what will happen.
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