Wink App Controls Smart Devices from Different Companies

For homeowners with a variety of smart devices and appliances, operating within the Internet of Things can be complicated because many hardware makers manufacture products that do not work with devices from other companies. Wink, however, is a smartphone app that connects all of those products, from Samsung smart TVs to Philips Hue smart light bulbs. Earlier this week, Wink also launched a series of Wink-enabled devices from 15 manufacturers.

Wink’s unified platform allows users to operate house lights, window shades, water heaters, locks and more, from a single app. The app is available for free on Android and iOS.

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“There are all these great trusted brands that are already making locks, and garage door openers, and blinds,” Ben Kaufman, the founder of Wink, said in Wired. “We realized there are already products on the shelf that need to get integrated and just work.”

The Wink-enabled products that are debuting this week includes 60 products from Chamberlain, Philips, General Electric, Bali, Dropcam, Kidde, Kwikset, Leviton, Lutron, Rachio, Rheem Leviton and Schlage, according to USA Today. These devices will be sold in some 2,000 Home Depot stores around the U.S. and on Amazon.com.

In addition to using the Wink app, smart home dwellers can also purchase a Wink Hub, which operates smart devices and helps connect products that are not already Wink-enabled.

Kaufman sees other smart home platforms as opportunities, not competition. For example, Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Nest platforms are similar to Nest in that they also connect a variety of products built for their platforms. However, Kaufman is hoping that Wink will be able to work with both platforms, and others, to make homes truly connected.