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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

How Amazon Outage Left Smart Homes Not So Smart

Isabella Steger | Bloomberg

Due to an outage in the cloud computing department of Amazon.com Inc. thousands of people in the US are left without working refrigerators, room tanks and doorbells, underscoring how much people have come to trust the company as the Internet of Things spreads to homes.

The outage, which began at approximately 10 a.m. ET Tuesday, reversed parcel delivery, disabled major streaming services, and prevented people from entering Walt Disney Co. parks.

Affected Amazon services included Alexa voice assistant and Ring smart doorbell. Angry device users wrote about their frustration with the official Ring account, with many complaining that they had taken the time to reboot or reinstall their apps and devices before finding out on Twitter that there was a general Amazon Web Services crash. Multiple Ring users have even stated that they cannot get into their homes without access to a phone app that doesn’t work.

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Others said they were unable to light the Christmas lights.

Many people reported that smart bulbs stopped responding to voice commands.

For some, basic household chores become impossible.

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