In what feels like no time at all, we’ve become inundated with smart home products. We’re now seeing app-controlled light bulbs, blinds, thermostats—just about every electronic home appliance is now Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connected. Trouble is, if you go all-in on the connected home, that’s an awful lot of apps to navigate. The connected home has been crying out for a unified control platform, and now it finally has one in Wink.
Quirky, the invention engine and home to the most genial of CEOs, is setting up Wink as a wholly owned but separately run subsidiary. The connection makes sense—some of what we’ve seen from Quirky includes a smart window air conditioner. With Wink, Quirky now has a unified control center for any and all smart home products that might pass through their gates.
Wink is just that, a unified control center. Instead of diving into dozens of different control apps for your smart home appliances, you can control everything from the Wink app. That also means you can create more complex schedules and presets that include multiple appliances—turning down the lights and shutting the blinds when it’s time for bed, for example.
Of course, Wink can’t pull if off alone. When we talked to Quirky’s CEO, Ben Kaufman, he mentioned that he loves Home Depot. Now we know why—Wink has partnered up with Home Depot to make sure Wink-enabled products start appearing on Home Depot shelves in bunches. Wink also has plenty of hardware partners in the early going, including GE, Honeywell, Dropcam, and Philips.
Every Wink-compatible smart home device will have a little seal on the packaging. If that seal is not on the packaging, no worries—Wink will sell the Wink Hub to bring those smart home devices into the fold, too. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Lutron ClearConnect are all supported by the Hub, so you shouldn’t have any connectivity problems.
The Wink Hub costs $50 until Labor Day, but you can get it for $25 if you buy it with one Wink-enabled product or for $1 if you buy the Hub with two Wink-enabled products. The Wink app is available for free for iOS and Android.