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The Product You Bought is Not the Product You Own

Chamberlain Group's latest lockdown blocks out all other smart home integration applications

Imagine yourself living in some Jetsons technological utopia. You go down to the robot store and buy the latest helper model. Of the many benefits listed, one is to make your home life easier. Anything from opening the door when you get home, making you delicious meals, keeping the house clean, walking the dog, and everything else that would establish domestic tranquility.

Several blissful years later, a message arrives from the door company1. You find that odd because you’ve had no issues with this door and your robot helper opening it for you. In the message, the company shares that there are dangerous and nefarious robots that might make your door not as secure as you think. Danger, Will Robinson! The only fix, the company states, is by using their own secure robot2 that can open and close your door for you. The risk of using your own robot is simply too high!

After reading this message you glance suspiciously at your trusty robot helper. What is it hiding? Has it been the one stealing your socks to sell on the black market? Relieved that the door company cares so much about improving their product, you wait a few days for the new robot to arrive.

Unpacking the new robot leads to a bit of a surprise. The model is several versions old and its torso has been replaced with a screen. Booting it up and configuring it isn’t too much of a hassle. You scoot the robot to be near the door so it can perform its intended duties.

You soon realize why the screen is there.

Whenever you get near your front door the robot’s screen brightens showing an image:

Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery partnership with Chamberlain Group’s MyQ

Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery partnership with Chamberlain Group’s MyQ

You try to scroll across the screen in order to hide the advertisement but it just shows another. The next advertisement is for the latest sleek flying car. It also has a new secure robot from the door company.

Honda’s in-vehicle garage door control with Chamberlain Group’s MyQ

Honda’s in-vehicle garage door control with Chamberlain Group’s MyQ

Frustrated, you begin to doubt the intentions of the door company. Your original helper robot didn’t have a screen. It was able to do everything you asked of it without shoving an advertisement in your face. Maybe the robot helper company has something to say about this?

Shuffling through old messages you find it. A saddened statement from the robot helper company3. “We regret to inform you that the door company has blocked us from using our lineup of robots on your door”. The truth starts to become a bit more complicated with this additional perspective.

Behind this message is another, an invitation to the public technology forum discussing this very situation! While there are many opinions and facts offered it seems the majority have stripped the door company’s security claim for brazen market consolidation. Regardless, you really just want to be able to open and close your door without having to look at an advertisement.

Reading farther into the public discussion you spot someone’s solution to the problem. A simple gadget called ratgdo that attaches to your door, which allows your trusty old helper robot to open and close the door as much as you please. All while not having to look at the screen of the door company robot!

  1. Chamberlain Group ↩︎

  2. MyQ ↩︎

  3. Home Assistant ↩︎