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      While this is a fun read I find the idea that we are sending washing machine timings to the cloud so that we can read them in some app still completely bonkers. So much infrastructure for so little value. It just feels so wasteful.

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        It’s cool that Miele allows you to extract some of the data for your own use, though.

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        I would be impressed with a clothes line that could send me a text message though.

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          Just tape a moisture sensor to the inside of a clothes pin and you’re about 80% of the way there.

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          I believe these are called a dryer

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        By definition it’s not waste if you’re deriving enough value from it. You may not enjoy this particular sort of hacking but the author clearly does.

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          I am not criticizing the author and it’s hack, I am criticizing the trend to run massive cloud operations to store the time when the washing machine is done. That is a complete waste of resources in these times.

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            I think it’s more likely they already had a massive cloud operation to manage supply chains, invoicing, employee data security, and product research, and figured “why not use a bit of it to add some IoT features”.

            I’d bet even the 3rd party API is a throw-in, and the actual reason they have IoT is for telemetry. It’d make it easier for the company to learn f.ex how long each part lasts in under light vs heavy loads.

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              Miele being an old (123 years!) German company I doubt that. They are an old style manufacturing company not a young cloud shop. I highly doubt they run their business from the cloud and if they do that, that is a recent thing. These type of companies move slow and German companies are being extra conservative.

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                Googling “Meile SAP” shows a promo page on SAP’s site which states

                how Miele improved their sales processes with the support of the SAP Cloud Success Services Team.

                Now sales != manufacturing but it would not surprise me if Miele and SAP are tight, and that this kind of stuff (consumer connection) could be part of that

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            Ah! Yeah I will admit I’m struggling to think of a time when I’d have found cloud access to my washing machine useful. Like … if I’m at home I’ll hear it; if not, … what action can I take?

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            Also, what happens when the manufacturer decides this washing machine is EOL and they pull the plug on the servers? And what about the security of having a washing machine connected to the internet?

            It would be so much better if these “smart devices” would be LAN-only. This shouldn’t even be all that difficult to set up - printers have been LAN-only for a long time and despite the shitty reputation of printers, people have been making this work. Or perhaps bluetooth - people know how to make Bluetooth stuff work from their phones. You could even have an app. And if spying is really important for them (of course it is), they could still do it by making the app phone home.

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            I think the biggest problem is the bundling of the device and the cloud service. Now, the washing machine is dependent on some remote cloud service for some of its features. I’d mind a lot less if the washing machine spoke MQTT (over TLS) and defaulted to the cloud provider’s endpoint, but also had an option to connect wherever I pointed it.

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      Our fully analog washing machine is in the basement. I use a massively parallel biomorphic computer that I always carry around with me to obtain fuzzy estimates of wash done time. Sometimes this analog clock is slow and the clothes stay in the machine a few minutes too long and sometimes I get to do one more round of exercise (AKA climb the stairs). Me, my clothes and my washing machine are doing fine.

      This get-off-my-lawn post brought to you by someone formerly enamored with computers and who now thinks we may have overused this fine tool.

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      I’ve got plans, and hardware, to put together a system that would notify me of my non-smart washer and dryer finishing based on accelerometers that I’d stick to the back of it, and then firing off a message to ntfy.sh. I haven’t built it yet, because there’s never any time, but someday.

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        That sound cool. Wouldn’t it be easier though to use some “smart” socket which measures power usage?

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          This is how I do it; I have an Aeotec Z-Wave power switch between the dryer and the outlet. It’s hooked up to Home Assistant, which sends me a text message when the power usage drops back down after being up for at least a few minutes. It works pretty well. I was going to do the same for my dishwasher but my local building code requires that they be hardwired, so I’m going to have to put a clamp on the circuit or something instead.

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            but my local building code requires that they be hardwired

            That seems odd to me (Australian). Ours are all just socketed; they don’t draw that much current do they?

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              Codes change and are weird. In our bathroom (late 80s vintage) the washer is connected to a hardwired panel (protected by a rubber seal). In our vacation home bathroom, recently rebuilt, the washer connection is a socket[1] - albeit placed high on the wall. In both cases there are concerns about moisture but somehow they did a 180 regarding what’s considered safe.

              Dishwashers are socketed here too, the outlet has to be a bit higher than normal though.

              [1] possibly the socket is specifically moisture-rated.

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              I think the idea is to discourage sockets underneath the dishwasher that could potentially be flooded

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              Remember that the US uses 110V mains, which roughly doubles the current that a device needs to draw for the same power relative to most of the rest of the world.

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          That feels like it involves deadly amounts of current and more than $15 worth of parts. I do software, not electricity.

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      It would be better if these were local network only APIs, rather than going through a cloud intermediary, that may change at a whim. Going via a remote server is just bonkers, and splatters more of our PII over random cloud services. I get it, it’s easier to develop an app that talks to a server you control, but with stuff like Thread/Matter now standardised, I’d like to see this random cloud dance disappear for what should be local control of local devices/appliances.

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        There are good reasons for a cloud service. A single machine can easily act as an MQTT server handling events for tens of thousands or more devices. It would be inefficient to require every consumer to run one of these. A cloud server is also accessible remotely, which can be useful if (for example) you put the washing on to finish when you got home but discovered that you’re delayed.

        That said, being locked into a single provider for the back-end services is obnoxious. Reconfiguring a washing machine to point to a different service is a hard problem, since adding USB / UART would add to the BOM costs noticeably and it doesn’t have enough of an on-device UI to enter configuration info. I can imagine doing something like mDNS-SD to find SRV records that would overwrite the default configuration, but ideally you’d avoid a compromised phone that a guest brings to your house being able to take over configurations, so you’d probably want these things to be signed. For technical uses, it would be fine to have a QR code with the device’s public key on it and require a specific mDNS record to exist containing a connection string signed by that key to override the defaults. You could quite easily write an Android app that scan the QR code and publish the right record. If the updated connection strings are sticky (or rechecked only when the washing machine is reset) then you wouldn’t need any local infrastructure.

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        Having a cloud service is both simpler to develop and allows the vendor to capture part of the “customer experience” after sale. Like I mentioned upstream, the fact that Miele is nice enough to allow a customer to create their own apps via Oauth is (in my experience) unusual. Usually the vendor wants all that data and functionality for themselves.

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      would be impressed if it wouldn’t talk to the internet but LAN would suffice.

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      Oh my gosh this is so delightful. I see there’s also oven and microwave APIs. I so badly want a smart microwave for chocolatiering.

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      I just used a power meter, connected to my mqtt broker. It was easy to find the thresholds needed to predict when it was about to be done, and finally done.

      Really handy as the washer was in the basement I rarely visited other than for washing clothes.

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      As an experiment, it is pretty cool this can be done. Practical use, I won’t do it ever - my wachine machine maker has no business knowing my cloth washing behavior.