Photo via Quirky - http://www.quirky.com/invent/768233

Giving the Smart Home a Wink

Photo via Quirky - http://www.quirky.com/invent/768233

Photo via Quirky – http://www.quirky.com/invent/768233

The New York Times featured a new product that has backing from GE and Honeywell, two industry giants. It’s called the Wink HuB and it’s created by a company called Quirky. The HuB will cost $79 when it goes on sale this July 7th. As we’ve written about before, the iterative smart home is fragmented because of different protocols (Z-WAVE, Zigby, BluetoothLE) and different products from different companies. The beauty of a HuB like Wink is that it understands these diverse protocols and gives you one device to control them all.

Because there is not one unified standard, there needs to be this intermediary. There are many others like this, but because of the support of the larger companies, this one has more potential. Quirky, the company who collaborated with GE to produce Wink, has a number of products that are smart devices. But what about Apple and Google? Nest, owned by Google, has developed its own API and Apple has released HomeKit as Mark mentioned today. Does Wink stand a chance? Are these hubs to be short-lived? Will Apple and Google make them obsolete by offering integrations right into their products? Is it worth getting one of these devices?

What do you think?

Chad Curry

Managing Director for the Center for REALTOR® Technology. Working to improve the value proposition to our members through our web properties and mobile space.

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Comments
  1. Mark Bergman

    Home Automation is becoming a “hub of the week” product sector. Over the years we’ve seen a variety of proprietary systems come and go. Before wifi and BlueTooth, I used X10 which sent signals over power lines and coupled it to a telephone interface. It worked (most of the time) until electrical devices such as CFL’s added RF interference. The good news is that several of the newest hubs are open architecture and can communicate with multiple protocols. It will be interesting to see who buys who. I was an early Kickstarter backer of SmartThings and continue to be impressed with the developer community and multi-protocol capabilities. This developer will profit nicely when Google or someone else buys them out (like NEST…another product I use).

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