Time to shut down our Wink Hub
After more than five years, it’s finally time to shut down our Wink Hub, one of our first smart home platforms.
We’ve been loyal Wink users for years and have stayed with them throughout system outages, a botched security update, two hubs and two different sales and acquisitions. But this time, after returning home after a two-day power outage, our Wink smart home automations and our devices attached to the Alexa stopped working, and no amount of resetting the Wink Hub 2 or doing the Z-Wave rediscovery command would bring them back.
We’ve been concerned about the health of the company for some time. Wink was acquired by i.am+, the company led by musician and entrepreneur will.i.am, in July 2017, and has not introduced a new hub since 2016. They’ve continued to add device support and service updates along the way, but the user interface has remained the same and for months the hub has been out of stock on Amazon and their own Wink shop.
Even with the hiccups, our Wink Hub 2 has been pretty stable and running our smart home just fine over the last several months. We used our Wink devices with the new RoomMe sensors to personalize our rooms and it worked flawlessly. But we have stopped recommending Wink actively to our friends and followers, and we have been slowly adding new devices to our Samsung SmartThings hub and looking for other smart home hubs to try.
If our Wink hub hadn’t lost power, we aren’t sure we would have noticed anything was wrong. We have always loved Wink for their great customer support – but they have stopped answering the phone and their network status site has been down for days. Their website is still up and the support page still allows us to send support requests, though an email to their support has gone unanswered for days.
It would have been nice if Wink had sent us a proactive email to let us know something was wrong. Perhaps they are trying to secure some more funding or are negotiating with a potential buyer. Smart home continues to be a tough business, especially for companies like Wink tying all the different pieces together with no ongoing revenue stream.
After five years, our Wink hub felt like part of the family, and we will miss our robot butler. But this time we couldn’t afford to wait, so we have moved all of our smart home over to SmartThings.