Has the Philips Hue ecosystem become a victim of its own downfall?

Cupertino, September 27, 2023

The Philips Hue ecosystem of home automation devices is facing criticism for its recent changes, according to Rachel Kroll, a veteran systems administrator and former manufacturing engineer at Facebook. In her blog post, Kroll expresses her concern about the company's shift towards what she refers to as "complete enshittification." She mentions that the company's iOS app started blocking access unless users upgraded their hub box, which she believes is not a user-centric approach.

Furthermore, the recent update introduces a new End-User License Agreement (EULA) that users must accept in order to access their devices. However, Kroll dismisses this as unenforceable and claims that it's only getting worse. Philips Hue is reportedly planning to release an upcoming update that will require users to log in, adding yet another cloud integration that could potentially complicate matters further.

Kroll suggests an alternative for those who only have lights and smart sockets - removing them from the Hue Hub and connecting them to an IKEA Dirigera hub instead. Although it's not a perfect solution as it results in the loss of some functionalities such as motion sensor data, light levels, temperature monitoring, and custom behaviors, it offers the advantage of exporting to HomeKit.

In concluding her post, Kroll acknowledges that there is no guarantee that IKEA won't follow a similar path in the future. She invites readers to share their experiences with the Philips Hue ecosystem and inquire about any alternative recommendations they may have.

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