Mellow hacked his “smart” video machines until you paid a monthly fee

Mellow hacked his “smart” video machines until you paid a monthly fee

In 2014, Mellow, Inc. launched Mellow for $ 399, charging it as “the world’s first smart sous-vide machine” – one that promised to automatically weigh, then reheat, and freeze your meals for the perfect slow cooker. , even adjusting the average chef at that time to fit your changing schedule. But now the company is taking that smart money out of existing owners until they pay $ 6 a month, or $ 48 a year to subscribers.

how SlashGear: Chris Davis reports“Mellow owners were surprised that they could not cook this week until they updated the app, only to find out that the app update forbids them to use most of the previously free ‘smart’ features without paying for a new ‘Premium’ subscription.”

Not everything is closed with paywall. Mellow manual mode still allows you to set the oven temperature from a remote control, but you can buy relatively dumb sous-vide devices – even a well-reviewed one. like Anova Nano – $ 129. Mellow originally cost $ 399 brand new և or և currently on sale For $ 149, most likely, buyers paid the usual price of the request – $ 200 – $ 300 to get one.

Late Monday night, dear! issued a statement Explaining the reasons for his “premium” plan on Instagram, citing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that many potential investors and buyers interested in the company have left, claiming that the servers responsible for the smart features of the cook are also worth doing. Disappeared since the Instagram post, but SlashGear: first saved a copy of his text.

Mellow was launched in 2014 by two founders outside Lisbon, Portugal. Unfortunately, these founders did not think about the future when they built Mellow V1. Mellow is built on WiFi only; it uses external servers to run its systems and software. To them [sic] does not turn back. These servers and systems cost a lot of money each month, and the accounts are based on the use of all Mellows. The founders not only lost more than $ 3 million from their investors, but also had no debt [sic] would pay for further bills after selling their Mellows. Mellow was going to close in 2018. If the company closed all the Mellows that were in people’s homes, it would be useless. To save the company, one of the early investors tried step by step and did everything possible.

Two years later, the company was on the verge of closing again. Although much progress has been made, COVID once struck at any potential investors or buyers the company was talking about leaving. The new owners dug deep to try and find a way to save the company. Not wanting to see all that passionate product, the new team came up with the only solution. That solution started charging a monthly subscription to use the app. At first we were going to charge for all the features, but before that և it was decided to keep the manual mode for free և charge for the other features. And that’s what was done.

We know some of you are really crazy ենք we understand. We know some of you understand, we are very grateful. We hope you will forgive us in time and support us in these experienced times. Thank you [sic] you to listen to.

It is true that other smart home appliance companies have abandoned their products instead of retaining their functions. The Harmony Express distance from Logitech through Alexa is just one of the latest examples, although in that case Logitech offered exchanges և full compensation.

After the update, some users left negative reviews of the app App Store: և: Google Play: despise new paid services. wrote by one user The new premium plan was a “bait-switch”. Some Kickstarter supporters join the crowd for the second generation of Mellow’s sous-vide demanded compensation after the announcement. The Mellow team says epidemic travel restrictions and restrictions make it so postpone release that second-price product also for six months.

Mellow is not the only home-based technology company trying to raise more money for things that were originally supposed to be free. In May, Wink announced that he would require customers to pay $ 5 a month for features of his smart home that were previously free, citing financial strains of the epidemic. Earlier this month, Wyze, a smart home company, announced a paid-to-use model to use the AI ​​detection feature.

You can see some of them Promises for tomorrow’s concert via the online archive here.

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