@Max this would be good to discuss on Friday? It's almost an issue of augmented reality?
I find this information alarming and amusing at the same time.
I have designed and installed fire detection equipment for a great number of years.
The funny thing is that the detector, to get to market, probably had to pass a whole host of EMC tests.
The alarming thing is where was the safety critical assesment tests for usage?
Just from reading the article, it looks like the software teams got thier silence and isolation issues mixed up.
If I designed a software strategy like this then it would only be a silence option and then only for a limited time interval, such as allowing the detector to clear smoke after burning toast. I do not think I would even do a gesture silence for Carbon Monoxide.
The beauty of a connected device is that the problematic feature can be disabled by a remote software update without requiring the user to rip the device off the wall and send it back to the manufacturer.
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...
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.
I find this hilarious. Google just paid through this nose to get this company and now a basic feature of the device is considered a flaw. When I first read the specs and saw the video on how to use the device I laughed out loud. What would keep it from shutting down when your four year old goes twirling across the floor underneath the device? Bad product design is bad product design. No marketing BS can overcome that. Goggle purchased a big smoking pile of dung. Not the first waste of money for them and surely not the last. I can only hope I'm on the receiving end of their idiotic purchase plans.
Having designed alarm and safety equipment, the most important principle is "Keep the design simple and conservative." It is far better to push a button to reset an alarm than depend on some sexy cutesy-poo device that adds needless complexity at the cost of reliable operation.
One other point about CO detectors. Since the sensing element must be replaced every few years, why not have it plug into something like a tube socket. This would be far more efficient and econimical than having to chuck an otherwise perfectly good instrument.
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.
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?
@sanjibA I think not buying a product when it first comes out applies to almost anything. Two years ago we bought the last model produced of the Ford Escape before the new models were introduced. While our Escape has been running flawlessly during that whole time, I've since heard of two major recalls with the newly designed Escape. I have my mechanic to thank for this decision - I asked for his advice and he said buying a car well into a long production run is the way to go because they've had time to work out all the kinks and there is a supply chain in place for spare parts.
@kfield ...buying a car well into a long production run is the way to go because they've had time to work out all the kinks...
But this is not the attitude that marketeers love in their suckers customers. They attempt to sell to the yuppie mentality that demands the latest status symbol, even if not the greatest due to bugginess. Cars, software, whatever - all the same.
.... 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!
Actually, I did contact them sometime later. The person there then had no idea what I was talking about and said I could do what I wanted with the idea. I really didn't want to patent it; I already have a few. But, selling the idea for a few quick bucks sounded right to me. Well, I did make some contact with a proposal to that end; however, I heard nothing. I would still be willing to present the idea for a fee; and if thought viable just sell it for a final fee. I don't care too much whose name ends up on some patent. So, do you here me out there Google? You seem to be able to find out almost everything about anybody. Just give me a heads up with contact info!
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?)
-- Food for thought -- Switzerland, where being part of the military is Manditory, and keeping a gun safe in your home with an assult rifle locked in it is Manditory, and where Fire-arms training is Manditory, and where it is one of the few european countries with an economy where companies are moving there, also has Manditory Health insurance, a minimum wage of over $20/hr, and a longer life expectancy than the US -- There you have your choice of any plan that is approved by the government, can use it at any public, home, or private provider -- The democrats and republicans each should have ate a little crow and seriously looked at this approach.
Good things about obama care - enough people in the pool in the larger states that the insurers pay about 30-40% of what a private plan pays for most prescriptions. This leaves more money for prevention and treating other conditions
Bad things that need work -- only a few providers take the plan -- more are joining but this was not well ramped up in advance. Even in major metro area's people are sometimes having a 4 hr round trip to see a specialist on the plan. This is very similar to the situation the veterans returning from overseas face -- they too must travel far in the VA system and go through much red tape and lost time from work for covered treatment. Other bad things -- not all hospitals meet the plan standards -- so one may have to travel a distance for an ER visit to be covered.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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