Jennifer Pattison Tuohy reports via The Verge: The Chamberlain Group — owners of the MyQ smart garage door controller tech — has announced it’s shut off all “unauthorized access” to its APIs. The move breaks the smart home integrations of thousands of users who relied on platforms such as Homebridge and Home Assistant to do things like shut the garage door when they lock their front door or flash a light if they leave their door open for 10 minutes, or whatever other control or automation they wanted to do with the device they bought and paid for.
The move comes a year after Chamberlain discontinued its official Apple HomeKit integration and a few months after it finally killed support for Google Assistant. It’s sadly another example of how the company continues to be hostile to the interoperable smart home. Last week, in a blog post, Dan Phillips, chief technology officer of Chamberlain, explained the reasons behind its latest move: “Chamberlain Group recently made the decision to prevent unauthorized usage of our myQ ecosystem through third-party apps. This decision was made so that we can continue to provide the best possible experience for our 10 million+ users, as well as our authorized partners who put their trust in us. We understand that this impacts a small percentage of users, but ultimately this will improve the performance and reliability of myQ, benefiting all of our users.” When asked what customers that relied on these now-defunct integrations do, a spokesperson for the company said: “We have a number of authorized partners that we will be happy for people to use,” pointing to its partner webpage.
“However, those partners are primarily smart security companies with monthly subscriptions (such as Alarm.com and Vivint) and car manufacturers,” notes The Verge. Some alternatives to a MyQ smart garage controller are mentioned in the report, such as Tailwind’s $90 iQ3 Pro smart garage controller, Meross’ $60 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener, iSmartgate’s $40 iSmartgate Mini, and Ratgdo’s $30 Wi-Fi control board.
The moral for smart home users, as summed up by Home Assistant founder Paulus Schoutsen, is: “Buy products that work locally and won’t stop functioning when management wants an additional revenue stream.”