First Look: The Wink Hub

First Look: The Wink Hub

One device to rule them all.

With new smart home gadgets entering the market on almost a daily basis, there’s no shortage of new solutions for common problems. Unfortunately, that also means there’s an abundance of new apps, protocols, and wireless standards. Every company seems to have a different idea on how these things should talk to each other.

That’s the problem the Wink Hub hopes to solve. Originally created as a partnership between Quirky and GE, the Wink Hub is a $49 device that connects to your home network as sort of a universal translator for all of your smart devices. It speaks almost every available protocol, giving it control over your entire home through their handsome smart phone app.

winkapp

Having one simple interface to control your entire smart home is automation’s holy grail; if Wink does what they promise, they’re definitely on the cusp of something huge.

They’re off to a good start so far through a partnership with Home Depot, and a growing list of supporting manufacturers including…

  • Bali Blinds
  • Chamberlain
  • GE Link
  • Dropcam
  • Honeywell
  • Leviton
  • Lutron
  • Nest
  • Philips HUE
  • Quirky
  • Schlage
  • Kwikset
  • and many more.

In my mind, the Wink Hub is one of the most intriguing products out there right now. Look for more on the Wink Hub and its supported products in the coming weeks.

Author

Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).

6 comments

  • After reading this I went out and purchased enough of the GE Link bulbs (and a hub) to run in all of our lamps. The system seems to be working well. I have also installed one bulb on our front porch. Next step will be to do our lights on the outside of the house. I think the bulbs offer a great value and have a long lifespan. Thanks for your info on this product.

    Reply
    • Awesome! I’ve been testing the same for the last few days and will probably post a review next link. Love using “shortcuts” to create combinations of lights.

      Reply
  • For the most part I dig my SmartThings setup. Sometimes it’s a bit quirky, but nice.

    The biggest complaint is that it doesn’t completely work with ECHO. I can work my lights and Nest, but not things like door locks and garage doors, or arm disarm.

    I may grab a Wink but not thrilled about resetting my multi sensors and locks to connect with it. Will the Wink all me to tell Echo to lock the front doors, shut the garage door, etc? Any other benefits the Wink has over SmartThings?

    Reply
    • The Echo issues you mentioned are actually security measures that are in place by choice instead of being limitations. The idea is that someone could stand outside of your door, shout “Alexa, unlock the front door,” and let themselves in. You don’t want that.

      As for Wink vs SmartThings, Wink has quite a bit more compatibility right now with the most popular smart home gadgets, but I’m hearing rumblings that that’s about to change dramatically for SmartThings soon. I do think that Wink has a better UI at this point, though.

      Reply

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