This week, Gardget made the news for its smart garage door gadget – but for all the wrong reasons. As reported by the BBC, the IoT-enabled device’s owner is facing a backlash after locking out a customer who had complained about the tech online. Garadget’s device allows users to open their mechanized garage doors remotely, offering a way of checking that doors have not been left open accidentally or to let visitors in without being present.
It’s a brilliant example of IoT technology in action, but not quite so positive when the founder Denis Grisak used it against the customer in a knee-jerk reaction, locking the user out of his own garage, which he later admitted was not the “slickest PR move”.
The 3 things Garadget teaches us about IoT
Always Test… and Expect the Worst
The key thing the Garadget story teaches us about IoT is that it can and will fail as a result of application or human intervention issues. Sometimes it’s human error like ‘GarageGate’, but more commonly failure comes from poor testing. By testing for all issues, creators of IoT-enabled devices can be prepared for worst-case scenarios, and as a result, PR disasters
Always have a Backup Plan
By having a fail-safe in place, Garadget could have prevented the mishap/misdemeanor from happening in the first place, allowing them to deal with the situation a little less, ahem, aggressively. For example, the IoT function of the device involved could have been complemented by a physical element such as good old keys or Pinpads, in order to avoid total reliance on IoT-enabled technology.
Monitoring and testing go hand-in-hand when it comes to avoiding downtime. Through constant monitoring for applications, devices and user uptime, disturbances can be detected before the customer is even aware of them, and dealt with without the need for, say, the guerrilla-esque tactic of locking them out of their own garage.
Ultimately, IoT enriches the world around us but can be potentially as dangerous as it is dependable, without the right monitoring systems in place. A mishap, misdemeanor or mistake will always occur in technology environments where humans are involved; the trick is making the technology fail-safe, ingenious and intelligent as the application itself sets out to be.
The experts at Apica offer testing tools that help identify security and performance issues for your IoT solutions. Contact the experts at Apica today.
Sven Hammar, co-founder, Apica Systems