How to avoid smart devices from becoming dumb after two years?
If you buy a fridge, heater, microwave, dishwasher, etc. then you expect your appliance to last for 10 perhaps even 15 or more years. You don’t plan on doing away with it after two years.
What if your appliance would be old after two years? To be more exact, what if the processor, memory, storage, wireless communication technology would be old after two years? Smart fridges, heaters, microwaves, dishwashers, etc. are likely going to be “smart” for two years. Afterwards they will be “legacy smart” and later “vintage smart” and then “unusable smart”. Technology progresses much faster than appliances age.
Now we have seen lots of examples of how not to handle aging technology. Car manufacturers are a very good example. They try to make you pay $3000 for a built-in GPS that costs $300 on the open market and already is old school by the time you buy the car.
TV makers have seen the light and now have the processing unit as a separate box that can be exchanged later on. Still very proprietary and you need to buy a lot of things you don’t need like a new metal box, however it is better than the previous alternative.
However the best solution would be using an open standard that allows hardware manufacturers to compete independently from the appliance. This way if you buy a smart device, you are able to choose between it being smart or really smart as well as the time you want to facelift the smartness.
There are several options: adopt existing standards like PCIe, adopt new proposed standards like project Ara from Google, or develop new standards and live with potentially competing standards for a couple of years but have a best-in-class solution.