Having worked in a start-up I can say safety and security is often the farthest thing from the bosses mind when the decision to ship product is made -- One wonders since the Firmware update is via the net, will we next read about 25 million smoke detectors bring down Bank of America Website? (Maybe they all went out with a trojan to bring down the Obamma Care Website installed, who knows?)
.... a smoke detector company for a year and a half in the 1990s. I did R&D on and came up with a new ION chamber design refinement. It was a great idea that would have streamlined production, (always a problem because of the high impedance nature associated with ion chamber design); and suggested we patent it. The dummies did nothing! The president was an idiot. The engineering manager was unethical. The company was later sold, then sold again. Glad I got the hell out of Dodge!
The lesson learned from this kind of incidents - do not get tempted to buy a new gadget immediately it is out, Wait for some time and buy once it is out in the field for some time and no problems reported / no recall happened!!! ;) Even if I am getting the money back, the frustration is too much expensive...isn't it?
I'm somewhat surprised that they didn't take the more conservative approach in the first place -- don't allow the alarm to be silenced until it goes off. This would have basically eliminated the possibility of false negatives. That's what my more modern "dumb" smoke alarm does.
Yes, it's convenient to be able to stifle the thing before you think that it's going to go off (pets everywhere are shaking their heads "yes" right now), but you do so at the (risk * cost) of being wrong when you don't get it right.
But then again, I know I don't (over)value form/cute nearly (by a longshot) as much as the average consumer.
I was an assurance engineer of a very large mass transit buyer of electronics and firmware and the problems I had with large manufacture and supply companies was getting them to tell me that they had a problem.
Most often as not, it was me as the intelligent client finding out I had a problem that made them own up to their design faults and failures. Most times they knew about the problems and did not warn their customers about them.
It was why much to the annoyance of the purchasing department, I dealt with smaller companies like yours. I could get a good working relatonship where trust and excellent engineering could be produced.
Keep up with your strategy, there are others like me who appreciate having it working without faults first time to market.
As we are running a small design company we only may send out our invoice *only* if we have delivered something that *works*. Firmware included (!)
Therefore I am very frustrated about the fact that lots of companies really do sell products that are simply *not* finished. OK, be able to do firmware updates is fine, but only for new options, handy new features, fulfillment of customer requests and such, but not for 'fixing' the damned thing because it simply did not work properly out of the box.
To non-techies I often give the example of operation of my car v.s. Micro$oft. In my memory they were the first to do this business-model... Shame... shame...
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.