The Wink platform has been running strong for just over two years, and recently released their new hardware device, the Wink Hub 2. Wink was originally owned by Quirky, an invention company with strong ties to General Electric, but was sold to Flex in 2015. The Wink hub sold well and did a great job of integrating multiple different technologies allowing you to integrate different systems and products into one home automation system.
While old Wink Hubs are still available for around 30% less than a new one, the new Wink Hub 2 offers several notable improvements over the 1st generation to warrant the increased cost. Improvements include:
- Ethernet port for network connectivity
- Support for 5Ghz WiFi networks
- Able to Connect to Bluetooth LE devices
- Auto discovery mode
- Faster and more reliable
- Easy transition from Wink to Wink2
- Enhanced local control
All the work they’ve done is to make the product faster and better and to ensure the service integrates with more products in an easier way. And they’ve done very well at this, with the Hub 2 connecting in some way to just about any home automation product you can purchase.
Integration works both ways, and items you link to Wink can also be controlled via Amazon’s Alexa as well as IFTTT. If that’s not enough for you, the Wink Relay is also available, which offers an always on and available interactive screen and buttons mounted to the wall, anywhere in your house.
The biggest improvements over the Wink however have to be there improved setup with auto-discovery as well as the improved offline support. The improvements show Wink have been listening to their customers and focusing on fixing the problems with the old tech. With internet and stability being called more and more into question every week, it’s nice to see a company focus on ensuring that when the internet goes down, your house continues to operate smoothly.
Beyond already noted improvements, one of customer’s biggest complaints of the original Wink was connectivity and stability. With a faster processor, more RAM, and better ways to connect the hub to the internet, we hope to see these problems gone, but only time will tell. Initial feedback however is positive, and we hope to see that trend stick.
It’s a hard decision between the Wink 2 and the Samsung SmartThings Hub, both have a lot to offer at an identical price and have put a large focus on integrating with other platforms and products. Samsung has the stronger name, but Wink have been putting in the dev work and have been playing with the smart home a bit longer.
Before making a decision, check what products you already have, or what you may be interested in purchasing, and confirm they’re compatible with whichever product you choose.