The Wink home automation
What is Wink?
Wink is a home automation system. It is simple to operate, works on Android & iOS, and is available at Home Depot. The basic idea is to use your smartphone as a remote control for "smart" appliances such as lights, door locks, and motorized blinds. It supports multiple protocols and can talk to many existing devices. At their launch in July 2014, they already have 15 partners with more than 60 products available.
How does it work?
Wink is a smartphone-based home automation system. The heart of the system is a central "router" called a Wink Hub. The Wink Hub has several different types of radio to talk to a variety of smarthome devices. They include:
5. Lutron Caseta (a subset of ClearConnect)
6. Kidde (smoke detectors)
The Wink Hub is wireless. It requires a wireless router to talk to your network.
What makes Wink different?
A few things make Wink unique:
1. It's inexpensive (the Wink Hub is only $50)
2. It is backed by GE (big name)
3. It is being sold through Home Depot (and other retailers including Amazon)
4. It has support for multiple protocols (Lutron, ZigBee, Zwave, etc.)
There are many products on the market like this (centralized controllers that try to integrate multiple communication protocols) but none with the corporate backing or pricing of Wink. imo, Wink is going to be the system to beat going forward. Thanks to their smartphone integration, they will have support for Android Wear, Apple's Homekit, etc. in the future.
How do I use Wink?
Wink is controlled via smartphone. You will need to download the app (version 2) on your smartphone or tablet: (free)
Wink has two methods of control:
1. Direct control ("Wink App Ready")
2. Hub control ("Wink App Compatible")
Some products have smartphone-compatible radios (Wifi or Bluetooth) & can be directly controlled via the Wink app without the Wink Hub, such as the Quirky Aros window air conditioner. Other devices, such as GE's LED "Link" lightbulbs, require the Wink Hub to communicate (via ZigBee radios, in this case).
Where do I buy Wink?
Home Depot is selling them locally & online Amazon also has them available. Until Labor Day (September 1st), they are running a special on pricing:
1. Wink Hub for $50
2. Wink Hub for $25 if purchased with one Wink Certified device
3. Wink Hub for $1 if purchased with two Wink Certified devices