These Smart Home Products Will Soon No Longer Be "Smart"—What to Do If You Own One
Hint: You could be eligible for a refund.
While smart home products have been proven to help simplify our lives, being an early adopter of new technology can have some drawbacks. There may be glitches you'll have to work through, plus you run the risk of your smart home product line or the startup that created it ending. For those who own Best Buy's Insignia smart home line, the company's recent announcement that it will soon be shutting down the Insignia Connect app could mean a disruption to their daily routines.
According to The Verge, the Insignia Connect app will be shut down on November 6, 2019, resulting in several of the smart home products losing their "smart" functionality. The products on the list include the Insignia WiFi Smart Plugs, WiFi In-Wall Switch, WiFi Camera, and WiFi Freezers. But rest assured, if you've already bought one of these products, most (except for the camera) will continue to work in the traditional way, although they will no longer be "smart."
What does this mean, exactly? The light switches will still turn the lights on and off, but unfortunately, you'll have to get up from the couch to do it. While the light switch timers you've already set will continue, the shutdown of the app means you won't be able to adjust the timers—so if you want to lock into a certain schedule, you'll need to make the change before November. Don't worry, the Insignia WiFi Freezers won't thaw when the app shuts down, but you'll no longer be able to set the temperature from your phone.
What should you do if you own one of the discontinued products listed above? For starters, if you're an Apple user, check if your products are compatible with the HomeKit. Some, including the WiFi Smart Plug with Metering model NS-SP1XM8, can continue to be controlled using Apple's Home app.
The silver lining: if you've already invested in an entire home's worth of Insignia smart home products, Best Buy will be refunding customers who have bought eligible products. Fill out the form here to request compensation via eGift cards. These smart home products may be discontinued—but at least the eGift Cards will never expire.