Insteon finally comes clean about its sudden smart home shutdown

By | April 23, 2022

Enlarge / The lighting puns write themselves. (credit: Insteon)

Smart home company Insteon and its parent company, Smartlabs Inc., suddenly disappeared last week. In what will probably be remembered as one of the most notorious smart home shutdowns ever, Insteon decided to turn off its cloud servers without giving customers any warning at all, surprise-bricking many smart home devices that relied on the Insteon cloud.

Insteon CEO Rob Lilleness didn’t respond to any media questions about why his company suddenly abandoned its customers, choosing instead to scrub his LinkedIn page of information. First, the absentee CEO removed his role at Insteon from LinkedIn, and then he cut his name and picture. Finally, he deleted his entire LinkedIn account. (An archive of Insteon’s “Leadership” page, starring Rob Lilleness, has been preserved here for posterity.)

Insteon has finally updated its website (archive here) and pinned a goodbye message to the top of every page a full week after its surprise liquidation. The statement—which is not attributed to anyone—says that the company is going out of business because of the pandemic and supply chain problems. The company looked for a buyer but couldn’t find one.

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