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The Wink home automation thread

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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
43,335
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Wink is done. You guys have had the "wait and see" attitude for what, 2 years now?
For my personal situation, I am happy with what Wink is offering today. They've made progress over the years and it's mostly where I want it. Definitely not perfect, and I don't know if the i.am+ acquisition of Wink will sink or sail it, but for me, wait & see means that it's working fine now & hopefully doesn't disappear in the future
 

Mike A.

Member
Apr 19, 2015
113
1
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I feel bad for the rank and file employees, but Wink's management was arrogant and had no clue. It is a shame too because I do believe Wink 2 has great hardware.
They still have the best box out there. But as you say the business side has been a mess since the start with the original management and being tied in with the screwy Quirky business model. If they'd opened things up early on to developers and included some advanced mode/roll your own device-type functions I think they could have been a lot more successful. Too late for them now. All of the major players in this game are big enough to build whatever they want hardware- and software-side and headed in their own directions. The buyer now being who it is seems to indicate that there's no interest by any of the more significant companies.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,303
468
126
They still have the best box out there. But as you say the business side has been a mess since the start with the original management and being tied in with the screwy Quirky business model. If they'd opened things up early on to developers and included some advanced mode/roll your own device-type functions I think they could have been a lot more successful. Too late for them now. All of the major players in this game are big enough to build whatever they want hardware- and software-side and headed in their own directions. The buyer now being who it is seems to indicate that there's no interest by any of the more significant companies.
Exactly. We BEGGED Wink to open it up or at least, add support for hardware people actually needed and wanted. I can't tell you how many times I spoke to their spokeswoman in the Facebook group and told her these things along with the suggestion that they needed to release a roadmap to generate excitement. All we got in return was "Exciting things are around the corner!" and nothing happened. The final straw for me was the Wink 2 rollout debacle.

i think the buyer is Will.i.am because he got duped. I can't believe someone like Amazon wouldn't have bought it (rumor has always been that Amazon would've bought Wink if not for the Winkening) unless they couldn't get reasonable terms. Will.i.am invest nearly $60 million to get Wink - I believe he paid $38 million up front and guaranteed Flex another $20 million in manufacturing work.

Wink is effectively dead and won't recover. It is too late for them and the large-scale battle will be between Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung IMO. Wink's founder joined Amazon about a month ago so he very likely knew Wink was on the chopping block and that it was a lost cause.
 

MjnMixael

Senior member
Aug 17, 2014
316
4
81
Why two ST hubs?
The middle of my house is the kitchen. It has all the appliances and marble and the back wall is tiled with something fancy. That is to say that is causes major interference if all wireless signals including wifi, Bluetooth, zigbee, zwave, etc. So I have Google WiFi on each end of the house and a Wink hub in each end of the house.

.It is too late for them and the large-scale battle will be between Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung IMO.
Lol what? Apple, Amazon, and Google have released next to nothing that could directly compete with Smartthings or even Wink. Homekit is a joke. Voice controlling devices are hardly a core of what Wink and Smartthings do. Everything these three companies are doing for HA is supplemental or just rumor.

Without Wink, Smartthings has no real competition (and thus can continue to make questionable decisions like not including a Lutron radio natively in their hub despite the large group and lengthy threads on their boards asking for it. Smartthings listens to their customer base exactly like Wink does. They don't.). No competition is bad for consumers who want cool products. Rejoice all you want, but Wink failing will have larger consequences beyond Wink's consumer base unless you think Vera or Insteon are real competitors lol.
 
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IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,303
468
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The middle of my house is the kitchen. It has all the appliances and marble and the back wall is tiled with something fancy. That is to say that is causes major interference if all wireless signals including wifi, Bluetooth, zigbee, zwave, etc. So I have Google WiFi on each end of the house and a Wink hub in each end of the house.



Lol what? Apple, Amazon, and Google have released next to nothing that could directly compete with Smartthings or even Wink. Homekit is a joke. Voice controlling devices are hardly a core of what Wink and Smartthings do. Everything these three companies are doing for HA is supplemental or just rumor.

Without Wink, Smartthings has no real competition (and thus can continue to make questionable decisions like not including a Lutron radio natively in their hub despite the large group and lengthy threads on their boards asking for it. Smartthings listens to their customer base exactly like Wink does. They don't.). No competition is bad for consumers who want cool products. Rejoice all you want, but Wink failing will have larger consequences beyond Wink's consumer base.
Amazon can (and likely will if rumors are true) release something with zigbee/zwave capability. Google won't be far behind. When this happens (and trust me, it is inevitable), they will own the market almost overnight. ST doesn't have the critical mass to stop that from happening. Sorry but you're blind if you can't see that coming.

Wink wasn't serious competition for the last year or so.
 

MjnMixael

Senior member
Aug 17, 2014
316
4
81
I'll believe it when I see it. People have been repeating those rumors for years. Google is too distracted with Thread. Apple lol. Yeah. That's funny.

Best bet is Amazon, but if it doesn't help them get people to buy things on Amazon.com like the Fire line... Well, we'll see.

EDIT: Now that I'm not on my phone, let me clarify. You gotta look at the culture of these companies instead of just the fact that they are all billion dollar tech companies that do Things (tm).

Google: They are probably very interested in the HA hardware space, but with a focus on Thread instead of the protocols that are already out there.. because reasons, I guess. Google Wifi already has a Thread radio that's disabled. But they've been sitting on their hands. Perhaps the Nest acquisition threw them for a loop because they had to deal with Fadell sitting on his ass and doing nothing with the brand other than buying a camera and screwing up the first gen of smoke detectors. But given that the very next thing Nest did after Fadell left was... another camera? And then the 2nd was an even more expensive camera? Nest's focus seems to be in a different direction while Google is, as always, doing too many things all at once.

Apple: I just don't see it. HA hardware is just not flashy enough for this company. They rely more and more on the iPhone and doing nothing with their cash. We never got that Apple TV everyone expected. Homekit or versions of it is the closest we'll get from them, IMO, because it sells iPhones (kinda). But a hub of sorts? Just not flashy enough. Can you really see Tim Cook up their at their World Wide Apple Jerk Off Fest showing off a zigbee/zwave hub that works with hardware that is non Apple? Or showing off the newest Invented By Apple iSensor? I would say Apple is the least likely of the three to release a zigbee/zwave hub and device line by far.

Amazon: Their hardware track record is not pristine (Hello Fire Phone!) and has a very narrow focus. Both the Kindle and Fire lines are heavily focused on displaying Amazon.com ads. You can't do that with a hub, sensors, light bulbs, etc. But of all the companies, this one seems the most likely. Having an HA system sold exclusively on Amazon.com could be a real boon. It's the Amazon version of Netflix Originals.
 
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IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,303
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HA is still a niche proposition for most. I've said here many times that Wink, ST, and others won't be the ones left standing when it becomes mainstream. Amazon, to me, is the most likely to come out on top. Apple will also be an ecosystem for a small group of people. Google will bring something out at some point but it remains to be seen how successful it will be.

Wink is as good as dead IMO. ST and Vera are probably too complex for average users. Other systems are too expensive. Amazon is entirely capable of making something as friendly as Wink but with the power of ST. I think it might happen within the next 2 years.
 

MaxDepth

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2001
8,758
43
91
I appreciated the idea of Wink. But now, I think this is just another good idea/start of household IoT that could not grow past the initial start. Hubs are dead ends. The head of Amazon's AWT was at a conference pretty much admitting that they look at hubs as being replaceable every so often. It's the 'X'aaS model, ('product X' as a Service). To them, being disposable can reach up to the hundreds of dollars, forget that people want to hold on to purchases for as long as possible.
 

MjnMixael

Senior member
Aug 17, 2014
316
4
81
If they want to go to a "replace your hub every X years" model.. they better have one hell of a transfer protocol in place.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,303
468
126
If they want to go to a "replace your hub every X years" model.. they better have one hell of a transfer protocol in place.
IMO, there's really no excuse not to have transfers and backup/restores in place already. ST whiffed on it big time and Wink only brought it out with Hub 2.
 

ShrutiAp

Junior Member
Aug 21, 2017
3
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1
My kids enjoy Lutron lighting tech. We enjoy theme based week in our home. A week , we enjoyed in green light and felt like Alien in home.
 

Termie

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
7,951
47
91
www.techbuyersguru.com
And surprise... it's AsRock that's come out with the next HA hub!

http://www.anandtech.com/show/11767/asrock-announces-x10-iot-router-wifi-and-zigbee

While this product probably isn't going to take off, one thing's for sure: Amazon will take over the market from ST and Wink within the next two years. But it won't do it with a standalone hub - as rightly stated a few posts up, these devices just aren't worth wasting cash stockpiles on. No, Amazon will simply integrate it into the Echo, where it belongs. The fact that Amazon has relied on third party products this long to enable its HA voice controls is the only thing that baffles me.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,303
468
126
And surprise... it's AsRock that's come out with the next HA hub!

http://www.anandtech.com/show/11767/asrock-announces-x10-iot-router-wifi-and-zigbee

While this product probably isn't going to take off, one thing's for sure: Amazon will take over the market from ST and Wink within the next two years. But it won't do it with a standalone hub - as rightly stated a few posts up, these devices just aren't worth wasting cash stockpiles on. No, Amazon will simply integrate it into the Echo, where it belongs. The fact that Amazon has relied on third party products this long to enable its HA voice controls is the only thing that baffles me.
Amazon has relied on third parties for a few different reasons:

1. They knew Google and Apple would come out with competing products, so Amazon wanted to get as far ahead as possible and to do that, they leveraged the manpower of all these companies wanting to piggyback on their system. It is a smart move.
2. To get true power from HA, you need sensors - a ton of them. Those are becoming low margin, commodity items which isn't something Amazon cares about.

There is a rumor that the next Echo may have ZigBee and/or Zwave built-in. Signs are pointing to an Echo refresh in the very near future, so we may know for sure very soon. I do agree with your premise that Amazon will likely be the one to conquer home automation - I think Amazon will be the big player and Apple will have its usual, small niche. I can't tell for sure where Google fits - I used to think it would be a 3 horse race between Amazon, Google, and Apple, but I'm not sure that will happen and wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung near the top.

Wink is pretty much dead - their only hope IMO is to be acquired by Amazon. SmartThings is too much for the average user but may maintain a niche user base, especially if Amazon decides to dumb their system down and wall it off.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
43,335
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Wink is pretty much dead - their only hope IMO is to be acquired by Amazon. SmartThings is too much for the average user but may maintain a niche user base, especially if Amazon decides to dumb their system down and wall it off.
I think it would be smart of Amazon to (1) acquire Wink and (2) integrate their sensors & software into the Echo. From what I can tell, most people who have an Echo tend to buy multiple, so you'd have full sensor communication coverage if you had say an Echo Dot in every room...ZigBee, Zwave, Lutron, Kidde, Bluetooth, etc. The Echo's settings layout is similar to Wink's in concept, and there's already a Smart Home entry in the Echo app to control stuff with. They would own the market if they did that & then released cheap sensors via Amazon Basics...buy a few Smart Echos, then snag a bunch of Amazon Basics door & window sensors, controllable LED bulbs, motorized blinds, motion sensors, and so on. Or even better, acquire Aeotec as an Amazon Basics brand, especially for their Multi-sensor. That would be a pretty killer setup tbh.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,303
468
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I think it would be smart of Amazon to (1) acquire Wink and (2) integrate their sensors & software into the Echo. From what I can tell, most people who have an Echo tend to buy multiple, so you'd have full sensor communication coverage if you had say an Echo Dot in every room...ZigBee, Zwave, Lutron, Kidde, Bluetooth, etc. The Echo's settings layout is similar to Wink's in concept, and there's already a Smart Home entry in the Echo app to control stuff with. They would own the market if they did that & then released cheap sensors via Amazon Basics...buy a few Smart Echos, then snag a bunch of Amazon Basics door & window sensors, controllable LED bulbs, motorized blinds, motion sensors, and so on. Or even better, acquire Aeotec as an Amazon Basics brand, especially for their Multi-sensor. That would be a pretty killer setup tbh.
Amazon can just have Centralite build sensors for them like Lowes does. Wink getting back in the sensor business is a really dumb move IMO - I'm baffled why they'd waste their time with a new siren, motion sensor, and contact sensor. Their margins can't be too high since competing products work on Wink, volume won't be enough to compensate for the margin, and I seriously doubt these sensors offer anything new over competing sensors.

I think the chance for Wink to be acquired by Amazon has likely passed, especially if rumors of an Echo with zigbee/z-wave are true. Regardless, I'm a little concerned that Amazon's system would be too dumbed down (like Wink) and closed, meaning it is DOA for someone like me.
 

GSter

Junior Member
Mar 30, 2016
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Exactly. We BEGGED Wink to open it up or at least, add support for hardware people actually needed and wanted. I can't tell you how many times I spoke to their spokeswoman in the Facebook group and told her these things along with the suggestion that they needed to release a roadmap to generate excitement. All we got in return was "Exciting things are around the corner!" and nothing happened. The final straw for me was the Wink 2 rollout debacle.

i think the buyer is Will.i.am because he got duped. I can't believe someone like Amazon wouldn't have bought it (rumor has always been that Amazon would've bought Wink if not for the Winkening) unless they couldn't get reasonable terms. Will.i.am invest nearly $60 million to get Wink - I believe he paid $38 million up front and guaranteed Flex another $20 million in manufacturing work.

Wink is effectively dead and won't recover. It is too late for them and the large-scale battle will be between Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung IMO. Wink's founder joined Amazon about a month ago so he very likely knew Wink was on the chopping block and that it was a lost cause.
Indy Colts Fan. With all due respect and deference to your broad knowledge base of home automation and not even arguing the points about the potential for doom for Wink, I am still at a loss as to how this is a productive use of of your time and talents to spend your time on the Wink forum $hitting on Wink's future and decisions instead of spending your time on the ST forum productively assisting those who have "seen the light" and utilize ST in lieu of Wink. My 2 cents.
 

dlock13

Platinum Member
Oct 24, 2006
2,788
2
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From what I'm reading, did I make the wrong choice to go with a Wink Hub 2 instead of a SmartThings hub?
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,303
468
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From what I'm reading, did I make the wrong choice to go with a Wink Hub 2 instead of a SmartThings hub?
How technical are you? What are you hoping to accomplish? Wink is an OK entry into HA but if you start doing advanced things, you'll outgrow it fast.

Indy Colts Fan. With all due respect and deference to your broad knowledge base of home automation and not even arguing the points about the potential for doom for Wink, I am still at a loss as to how this is a productive use of of your time and talents to spend your time on the Wink forum $hitting on Wink's future and decisions instead of spending your time on the ST forum productively assisting those who have "seen the light" and utilize ST in lieu of Wink. My 2 cents.
I do both. :). I don't go out of my way to criticize Wink but if the discussion is about their future prospects or someone is spreading false info about ST, I definitely will jump in the discussion. Wink frustrates me because I actually do think they have the best hub hardware and had a great opportunity that was squandered by mismanagement. Now, make no mistake - Wink was never going to make it alone but had they been more successful, Amazon would've purchased them and I might still be a Wink user today.

Wink is not a BAD platform. As I've said many times, I haven't had many issues with ST but I didn't with Wink either until some of the updates prepping for hub 2 were released. Hub 2 is a particular sore spot for me - I did buy one as a show of support for Wink and what I thought was a new direction, but they failed to deliver on those promises. My agitation with Wink was always with the management more than the actual product.
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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Wink frustrates me because I actually do think they have the best hub hardware and had a great opportunity that was squandered by mismanagement.
That's pretty much what it boils down to. They could have been the Kleenex of the smart home market, especially with their shelf space at Home Depot that had all of the little smarthome gizmos. imo what they should have done is setup a kiosk at each Home Depot location with a mini house & a hardwired tablet to show you how the lights work, the garage door controller, the blinds, the door unlocker, the A/C control, etc. Then it would all make sense to anyone who was totally new to it...control your house from your smartphone!

With how good the Echo is, and with how they're already supporting smarthouse integration, I think they are going to win out long-term. Their voice recognition is just fantastic. New "skills" are being added all the time. Lots of support coupled with a good management strategy...yeah, I think it will do well over time in the smarthome market.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
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Wink made a big announcement on the Wink FB page:

"You heard it here first! I’m excited to share with you guys that later this week we will be launching a slew of new products to Wink including: Sengled bulbs, SmartThings Plug (V2 & V1), SmartThings multisensor (only open/close and temperature), SmartThings motion sensor, SmartThings Leak sensor, Iris motion sensor, Iris leak sensor, Iris door/ window sensor, and the Iris smart plug. Thanks for being such awesome users and enjoy adding these new products before anyone else!"

That's huge news for a couple of reasons. First, the Iris stuff ROCKS and Wink will also support the temp sensor in those devices which have them (I asked). Secondly, it is quite obvious that Wink has abandoned their previous model of waiting for companies to pay them to certify their devices. If they can just get a stronger rules engine, I'd consider revisting them for some of my stuff. :)
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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Dang man...that video...that looks like the future lol.

Game over? Depends on how they flesh out their ecosystem, but yeah, I would say it is. Right now everything I have now works with Wink. However, I have far more trust in Amazon's long-term support of their smart home ecosystem than I do of Wink, especially as it's a recent acquisition of Will.i.am, who has kind of a bad history with products in the market. Amazon is doing what Wink tried to do...except now, you can just order everything online, plus your hub has voice control & a speaker built-in. It's a no-brainer. I will most likely be picking one up at some point! They are branding items as "Works with Alexa", so yeah, I would say game over...just give them time to get all of the little bits & pieces working with their system. Here's their smarthome page:

https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=s9_acss_bw_cg_ashnav_1a1_w?ie=UTF8&node=6563140011

There is also a new 2nd-gen Echo available for $99: (shorter & in different colors/textures)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCM9LJ4

Plus the Echo Spot for $129, which has a small screen, super cool, love it:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073SQYXTW

Oh man, that design makes me miss my Chumby!

 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
43,335
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Okay so the full lineup of new Amazon Echo widgets:

1. Echo: ($100) v2 of the Echo speaker.

2. Echo Plus: ($150) Echo speaker + Smarthome hub.

3. Echo Spot: ($130) Basically a baby Echo Show - has a small screen. Designed to be used in places like the side of your bed. Has a video camera for doing video chats. Has an alarm clock, lets you check the baby cam, watch news clips, etc.

4. FireTV: ($70) 4K + HDR + 60FPS + Dolby Atmos + Echo Voice Remote.

5. Echo Connect: ($35) Connects to your home phone & interfaces with Echo devices. Basically lets you turn your Echo ecosystem into a speakerphone. Also download your contacts, i.e., "Call Grandma".

6. Echo Buttons: ($20 a pair) Bluetooth LED buzzer for playing games.
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
43,335
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Thoughts on the new Echo system:

1. The Echo v2 & Echo Plus have a new speaker layout & upgraded far-field microphones that are better at listening from a distance. Which is great, because I usually have to raise my voice & yell at my Echo.

2. No bridge required to run Philips Hue lights on the Plus.

3. The new Echo v2 designs look great:



4. Curious about Youtube support, as that was just dropped on the Echo Show. The Echo Spot would be slick with Youtube clips! I'm sure they just have to sort out the interface stuff to get it back again.

5. I am a huge sucker for cute tech. Even if the Spot is useless, I want one lol...I mean, just look at it!



6. New TV partners for voice control using the Video Skills Kit: Hulu, PlayStation Vue, CBS All Access, Bravo, Showtime and multiple NBC apps. The Video Skills API looks super cool! I really really really hope that Roku integrates it, because (1) my family loves our Roku TV (4K TV with Roku built-in, SUPER easy to use), and (2) typing with the remote stinks, and a lot of apps (Youtube, Vimeo) don't support the keyboard app for smartphones, so it's a huge pain to search for clips you want to show off.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/08/amazon-alexa-voice-control-video-streaming/

7. Definitely gonna buy a pack of the buttons for my in-laws for Christmas, they love trivia games!

8. I hope the button is programmable...I love my BT.TN, but would also love to have it more tightly integrated. A simple example is laundry: I would like to press a button when I put a load in the washer, so that my Echo reminds me to take it out & put it in the dryer. I would like a second button to press when I run the dryer, so that I know when to go take it out. I'm sure we'll have washers & dryers that "work with Alexa" in the future.

9. The Echo Plus is pretty much going to murder everything out there in the smarthome field, at least, once their integration expands with hardware over the next year or two. For advanced users, Smart Things already has Echo support, so if you want to get more creative than off-the-shelf hardware, you can simply interface the STv2 Hub with Echo. Also curious to see what API's will be available!

10. I am extremely surprised that they haven't offered an integration Echo. Something that would maybe mount in the ceiling, like a smoke alarm (or perhaps baked into a ceiling fan), or a recessed wall unit. I'd imagine they'll do a wall unit for a future version of the Show.

11. Overall, I'd say Amazon killed it. I am extremely happy with my current Echo & Echo Dots...the quality of the voice recognition system makes the system worth having, and the convenience of doing even simple things like named alarms has proven to be super useful.

12. On a tangent, I am planning on moving my Echo Dot from my kitchen to my bedroom & replacing it with their new $149 10" Echo tablet...that way I can pull up my recipes on a nice big portable screen, but also talk to it when my hands are messy with cookie dough or whatever to set names or do conversions or whatever.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,303
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They’re seriously hamstringing themselves by not supporting Zwave. It also remains to be seen how their Zigbee device support is, how you build rules, etc.
 
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