Remember when the word Atari used to mean something? When it meant a wasted youth spent flipping quarters in front of a haggard Pac Man arcade cabinet while mouthing "don't you want me baby?" to the girls gathered by the change stand? Or jostling joysticks in front of a ropy CRT TV and a battered copy of Space Invaders while your parents, disgruntled with your failing schoolwork, mutter something about square eyes before retreating to the kitchen for a well deserved glass of pinot?
Actually, come to think about it, I'm neither American enough nor old enough to actually remember any of that. But dammit, I remember enough to know that Atari, the once great voice of video games, shouldn't be making IoT devices and smart home products with French wireless networking company Sigfox. It's just not cricket.
According to Sigfox, the company will licence the Atari branding and slap it in on a range of connected home, pet, lifestyle, and safety products, all of which will connect directly to Sigfox's wireless network, rather than to the Internet directly. Sigfox's network, which currently only works in Europe with a US launch planned, is typically used for relaying small chunks of information infrequently, such as data from an electricity meter. This, the company says, means that its IoT devices will have much better battery life and won't require any complex pairing or setup.