LG acquires Athom

Happy for the owners and employees. If after a few years you are not where you need to be financially you have a few choices: beg for more investment, continue scraping along and hope it works out, go out of business or sell.

Their choice was optimal for users because the company lives on with a solid influx of cash and other resources. I never fault any company for taking the money. As users we see the product but not the tireless efforts of the owners and employees, nor do any of us know the financial condition of the company. Another potential issue could be if investors wanting to cash out. Selling probably was the only way to do it. Homey is a low volume product by every metric so the value is the OS.

Jumping to another product might sound good but everyone has a price especially if cash flow gets tight. Also, one acquisition could induce FOMO by another company to get in the game. At some point most companies will need an OS for their hardware. Some may want their own and not use an Android variation.

We don’t know that. Once LG has integrated Homey OS into their own products/development teams they could consider Homey itself to be redundant (especially if, like you say, “Homey is a low volume product”).

Which is precisely why every Homey user should be worried. LG’s press release barely mentions hardware at all, and even talks about moving away from hardware:

LG’s introduction of the AI home, which integrates Athom’s open smart home platform with its own AI technology, underscores the company’s commitment to transitioning from a hardware-focused to a software-based platform business.

When you sell you either want to get out, need more resources, or an investor wants their money back. I’d rather this than them running out of money or energy to keep the product alive.

Well, no, not really. Because i am not talking about how the data is used.
Im also not saying ill drop Homey if the data is used for analysis.
There is always a tradeoff between (improving) functionality and privacy. In the same way that for a country there is a tradeoff between privacy and security.

I just hate misleading marketing tricks and playing with semantics!
I actually failed (on purpose i guess) marketing in business school, because they required me to lie on a certain casus (well, they ofc didnt call it lying :wink:), which i just wasn’t gonna do.

So, reading a pressrelease that Athom (including everything it owns and thus the data) has been “sold” to what used to be a third party, and then people still trying to ease users mind with the playing-with-symantics statement: Athom will not sell your data to a third party, well that irritates me like crazy!
That was seriously the only point i made.

Like i said, as a user, ill see what ill do if/when things change, i cannot make that decision right now, because we cannot say yet where things are going.

And as a developer of 15 apps, i will not remove those from the store atm and i also dont think i will in the future. Except for the use of the name Google in the Google Service app, i dont think i have much liability.
All my apps use custom names, images and icons, or images and icons i legaly bought (as a company).
Thats why i didnt use a Google logo in my GS app. And the Youtube image is a legaly bought image.

I also do not feel screwed or anything by Athom or the founders because i didnt receive money for my apps. That has never been the setup of Homey and we always knew it. They created a platform on which we are free to build and contribute, without payment. And thats fine with me. Them selling the company doesn’t change that. And the fact that LG might now “profit” from my app, doesn’t bother me. Why would it? Firstly, the possible profit for LG is peanuts for them. Secondly, what’s the difference between “increasing profits” for the founders of Athom or LG?

Personally i have a feeling (but might be wrong) that most community devs never expected money and also do not expect it now and are “fine” with it.
In this topic, it seems mostly that users are saying app devs should get money and are being screwed.
I think it might just be a “guilt” feeling of the users themself, because they can donate money themself (which a lott of users do do btw), but now that the founders received big money, and a big corporation now owns Athom, perhaps they hope/wish/want them to pay the devs so the users arent expected to donate anymore, thus making it cheaper for them or removing their guilt feelings?
Yes, im just speculating.

Also the fact that LG might make choises or changes that we as users dont like, i dont “fear”.
Because Athom/founders also sometimes made choices that some (including me) users didnt like.
But that’s how it works, their choices are made from a business point and an increase of money. And for a corporation, that’s how it (should) work, right?
I do the same with my company.
Athom has never been a non-profit company, and even a non-profit cannot make everyone happy all the time. That’s just live!
And who knows? Perhaps with LG integrating the Homey OS into their devices, it might also work the other way around, like for example, perhaps voice recognition? Athom was to small to get it working, but LG certainly has the resources to pull that off.



But… (last time) Athom should stop saying your data will not be sold to third parties after selling it (self) to a third party. Just be honest :wink:

(And yes, i understand that the change that the data (exclusively) now will be sold to (another) third party (not LG) has now been reduced significantly :laughing:)

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Well LG will know my name and GPS location and most likely exact address I have Z-Wave devices, and a backup of the settings. I pay for the backup so that can be cutout. My devices are all time-based and run locally. The product is so good I will take my chances. When they are hacked there will nothing worth taking that is not already known from the 100’s of other hackings we all have been exposed to from forum sites to banks thanks to poor security processes and implementations.

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Stefan and Emile, First, congratulations on this takeover. I hope the stability of Zigbee in particular increases because last month I hellishly said goodbye to Homey because having to boot up your Homey up to 4 times in a day is not nice if you want to rely on your home automation. Especially at those times when you are unable to do a full reset and restore yourself because you are over 3000 km away from home. Before I made the switch, I first tested other systems to make sure the stability would be good there. After months of testing, the competing systems had not once failed or crashed and meanwhile the Homey with only a few Zigbee units left had. If you take a closer look, it turns out that the competing Zigbee systems have adopted a smarter approach by first testing which info comes in and then assigning it, so that units that are not directly registered by type number also work and do not depend on an update from someone in the community who only works on it when it suits him. Also, pointing out who is causing the problem is not really a solution but and sign of powerlessness. If the developer community is so important to you then 1-to-1 communication is also important and not on the user’s back. I really sincerely hope that the takeover by LG is more than a quick pile of marbles in the bank account but an impulse to improve SW and its cooperation with the developer communitie.
My customer journey has been so disrupted by things like this that I will use a different system for the time being

So lets clear one small thing everyone is calling about USER data, and my personal information name, place age, ea, is bound by the privacy statement in place and we need to consent if changed. but the LG article states USAGE data and that would be anonymized usage data about a product or service.

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I just don’t want any body to have my usage data. By making dumb devices smart, you gave them your usage data. About everything. Why?

I will seriously consider having my apps removed from the store

It would help the transition for HomeKitty users :smiley:

I recommend anyone who is worried about the privacy of data collected by Athom to review the privacy policy (Athom Legal). I’ve just done so myself and I was personally quite satisfied. In my view it’s well written, easy to understand and matches my expectations about the data I would expect Athom to be processing.

Since I don’t find anything too worrying there then as far as I can tell, there’s nothing yet to worry about with the acquisition from a privacy perspective. If those terms change in future, then of course I should review again if I’m concerned.

Did I miss something?

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Hi all.

WOW! What a responses we’ve received on this news, including lots of media coverage and of course all of your thoughts here in this conversation! We expected some of it, but still it’s overwhelming when it all happens.

Of course, Emile has already commented before in this topic. We continue to see a lot of activity though, and that’s perfectly understandable. As engaged user, I’d also want to know what happens to my beloved smart home system. So first of all: Thank you for all your engagement! :heart:

We see a lot of things being written and said in various places, so I wanted to chime in and clarify where we can.

  1. First of all: don’t believe everything you read on the internet. :wink: We’ve seen quite some comments based on an Australian news article from a less-than-reputable website with made-up information. We informed with LG about it and it seems there’s some even-shadier business behind the scenes, including a business model based on rectifications. I will not dive into this any deeper. I just wanted to emphasize that, unfortunately, not everything written on the internet is true.
  2. For our official statements, please refer to our Press Release and the one from LG’s Press Office. :slight_smile:
  3. We perfectly understand that all of this is new, and therefore might be a bit scary. Let me emphasize that there are currently no plans whatsoever to discontinue any Homey hardware or Homey software. LG is explicitly interested in Homey because of our great platform, software and community, and lets us do what we need in order to keep these in place, and, even better, improve these. That’s why we are investing even more in Homey now than we were before, including new hires to our Netherlands-based team and additional sales channels. With LG’s backing and scale, this could make Homey much bigger as well – and as a platform battling some of the world’s biggest companies, that’s a huge plus.
  4. Our entire team stays in place. Even though that’s no 100% guarantee for the future – after all, we can’t freeze the current team forever – it does mean that Homey is continued with the same people and the same mindset as it was before.
  5. We understand that there’s some unclarity about data and privacy. Robebare and Jonathan commented on that pretty well already in the posts above me: Homey, both our hardware and our software, remain governed by our Privacy Policy, which is pretty strict in that regard. This means personal data is still processed with the highest care and very conservatively, and in the case of Homey Pro on-device. Next to personal data, we also have (aggregated) usage data indeed, which is not personal, nor can it ever be traced back to an individual. This would be information like the number of installs a Homey app has, or what the most-used features in the Homey app are. This information is already super interesting, of course, without touching on anyone’s privacy.

Again, this is all pretty new. We understand it might introduce new uncertainties, which invoke theories again. On the other hand, we’ve also heard uncertainties before about us being a small company and therefore possibly not financially sound (even though we were). Being backed by LG solves these theories again. :wink:

Long story short: please understand that us becoming part of LG has been done with the best intentions for our users, developers and community in mind. I hope us saying this explicitly puts your minds to ease a bit. Saying isn’t all though, so we plan to show this to you as well! We continue to execute our roadmap, including continued sale of Homey devices, new (software) features and even an extended hardware line-up in the future, so stay tuned…

For now, thanks for reading a way-too-long post, and enjoy your day. Again, I’m glad to see everyone’s so enormously engaged!

:heart:

Stefan

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And that’s what it’s gonna be about. They need usage statistics on what people care to automate about and when where and how people control their homes. Without such kind of data AI controlled home automation is somewhat impossible because there is little to no data to train from.

Yes Homey is not big but the platform is used by enthusiasts with usually a high/sophisticated level of home automation which is much more valuable than the average google assistant user.
LG has the target to develop an AI based home automation system so they need data.

Google already has a major advantage because they collect so much data and you can see how far it brought them. Same with Amazon, they just got majorly crosshaired back with the release of Alexa which also limited their ability to source data from their smarthome system.
Apple would have the potential sources to collect enough data to make Siri actually useful but they luckily, to their own unfortunate, take privacy serious enough to limit themselves, which is why every kind of data collecting within their OS needs active approval during device setup (I would hope that most people are clever enough to reject that).

I personally wouldn’t mind a, at least to some degree machine learning and LMM enabled, home automation platform that takes the work out of my hands and becomes proactive in home control. Something which will never be achieved without using massive amounts of usage data.
Let’s see where this takes us.

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Stefan and Emile, congratulations on this takeover!
Your hard work paid off!

Never mind the rest
image

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What audacity some people have. I understand the concerns, but this is ridiculous. It shows me that you seem to have 0 understanding of the corporate world. And if you have, you are living in your own reality.

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Well it looks like it’s time to Ebay my Homey Pro and go back to learning Home Assistant. at least before the normies relaize the sell-out of self hosting.

Why do you feel that you paying for a product “good money mind you”. For you to end up being the product. This was the reason I went into Homey self hosting local data. Not Alexa/Google etc. No smart TV connected to the network. because some people are trying to actuall keep or pull back in there personal data it’s not a tin foil hat thought. I hope it will become law that our personal digital data(foot print) is just as precious and protected as our medical data, and banking data.

If you have nothing to say, don’t say anything.

He said more than you just did and he is quite right…

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